Lower Back Pain? You’re not alone…
Did you know Lower back pain affects around one-third of the population in the U.K and 1 in 15 will consult their GP about their pain?
Lower Back Pain has many causes such as bad posture, muscular imbalances, muscular weakness or issues with the discs in the Spine. We advise seeking the opinion of a therapist or medical professional who specialises in this area to gain an understanding of your pain if you haven’t done so already.
Research has shown that Pilates can be very beneficial to reduce or even alleviate Back Pain.
In our experience, we have found this to be the case, with many of our clients seeing a reduction in their pain or getting rid of Back pain altogether. It is important however, to bear in mind that an experienced teacher who is qualified to work with Back pain clients is a must and each client must be treated on a case by case basis (not every exercise, will suit everybody). This is something we specialise in at Nu You Pilates.
Here are 3 gentle exercises to help strengthen your core muscles (deep trunk muscles) and the muscles that surrounding the lower Back as well as release any over active muscles to help reduce the feeling of tightness or stiffness and reduce pain.
Firstly let’s learn how to set your Core muscles…
The Core muscles are the deep trunk muscles that wrap around and support the spine, as well as the supporting muscles that surround the trunk muscles (including your bum muscles and pelvic floor muscles).
To activate these muscles we need to draw the tummy half way to spine, and imagine you are tightening the muscles of your waist (a bit like you’ve tightened up a corset). The pelvic floor muscles (which look a bit like a hammock and support our Bowels and Blader (and help you to remain continent) should drawn up towards the tummy. You should also squeeze the muscles of your bottom.
You should aim to keep these muscles lightly activated (you should still be able to breathe comfortably) throughout each of the exercises. Only releasing to rest (this takes practice so don’t worry if you don’t get it to start with).
Lay on you Back with your Spine in alignment, head relaxed (you can raise the head slightly using a cushion or Yoga block). Ensure your pelvis is tucked under, just slightly and your lower back is in contact with the floor (this is your neutral position).
Now set your Core. Begin to tilt your pelvis gently backwards so that your pubic bone tips up slightly and your lower Back gently pressed into the floor beneath you. Your bottom will lift slightly (but don’t push through the legs to lift). Then return to your neutral position. Try this 8-10 times, rest and repeat if you can.
The Shoulder Bridge is a progression of the Pelvic tilts but this time we are going to set the core, tilt the pelvis and squeeze the bottom and begin to peel the spine from the floor (Back bone by Back bone) using the legs and squeeze in the bottom to push the hips high. Hold and take a breathe, then return the spine to the floor bit by bit (starting from upper Back bones working down to the lower Back bones) until your bottom is back on the floor.
If this exercise causes any pain or discomfort revert back to Pelvic tilts (above).
Knee Drops with Spine Rotation.
Lastly, lay on your back. Spine in good alignment, feet a little wider than hip width on the floor. Arms should be in a T position with her side of you at shoulder height.
Set your Core and allow your knees to move gently over to one side (using your Core muscles and a gentle squeeze in your bottom to help control the movement). Draw your knees back to the centre and repeat to the other side. Keep the movement flowing side to side rather than holding. Try 8 - 10, rest then repeat.
Need a little more guidance? Why not book a free Taster Class at our Hertford Studio today! Contact email@example.com
(Please note these exercises are for general Back pain and may not be suitable for those with disc issues. Please seek advice from a health professional if you are unsure about the suitability of the exercises (above) for you personally).