About two thirds of Americans experience low back pain (LBP) and 37% do not seek professional help, according to the American Physical Therapy Association’s Wove Forward” LBP survey. Back pain can lead to mental stress from the toll it can take on a ones life. Things we are required to do everyday (functional activities). such as walking and standing or sitting for a longtime, can become difficult to tolerate. Working any job can become very hard leading to difficulty supporting one’s family. There are many ways to combat LBP which includes medication, physical therapy, and in severe cases surgery. One of the best way to start relieving your back pain is through physical exercise. For some people going this route can help them avoid surgery.
So then what exercise should one be doing to help decrease back pain specifically? Seeing a physical therapist is a great way to get started. On your first exam they will look at your back to figure out what is contributing to your back pain as it can have many causes whether it is related to a disc or some instability in your spine. They will then develop an exercise program specific for your needs. One exercise that will most likely be included is strengthening of the abdominal and back muscles. This is added to improve core stability. which is the ability to maintain good posture and keep your spine in good alignment as you perform different activities. Throughout the years research has shown that this is one of the most effective conservative methods to decrease LBP. Multiple studies have shown that specific spinal stabilization exercises can help decrease the risk of recurrence of LBP, especially in those who present with acute back pain. One workout routine that really focuses on this concept is known as Pilates.
So what is Pilates exactly and why should you consider it for treatment of your LBP? As mentioned previously. Pilates is a workout routine that focuses specifically on strengthening the core muscles. Other benefits with Pilates includes strengthening of your legs, gluten, back, and increased flexibility. There is a strong emphasis on technique, making sure you are really working those core muscles while maintaining good posture during the exercises. There are specific names for the movements. such as l 00’s and tabletop leg position. There has been a lot of research on whether Hates is effective for the treatment of LBP. One study found ‘that a program of specific exercise directed at retraining neuromuscular control, provided by a physiotherapist, and based on the Pilates method was more efficacious in reducing pain intensity and functional disability levels when compared to usual care. This is one of the many studies that found Pilates based exercise to be an effective treatment to decrease back pain and the functional disabilities associated with it. This is definitely a good conservative method to try out if you are suffering from LBP. You can buy a Kates END and do it in the comforts of your home or participate in classes near you.
One thing to remember is that not everyones back pain is the same, so you should definitely seek a professional’s advice on whether this is something that you should do and if there needs to be any modifications to any of the exercises based on your personal medical history.
- Tahmina Rahman, PT @ our Hamtramck location
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