Posture and alignment
Here we can see three different spine alignments, the first being the ideal the second has an excessive curve of the lumbar spine and the third has an excessive curve in the cervical spine.
Depending on our posture we can help to prevent the excessive curves or increase them. Our lifestyle, weight, and posture can all contribute to poor alignment in the spine.
Women who are pregnant are more likely to get pain in their lower back due to increase curvature of the lumbar spin and anterior tilting of the pelvis. This would be diagram 2.
Anyone suffering with lower pain back needs to work on core strength, losing weight if needed in the abdominal region especially, and focus on posture. This can easily be done with Pilates, giving core strength and stretching exercises.
Women with a large chest or people who sit, drive and hunch a lot can suffer with upper back and shoulder pain. This is like diagram 3 (kyphosis) where the cervical spine is very rounded stretching the upper back muscles and having stiff rounded shoulders. Here exercises that extend the spine and rotation exercises for the shoulders and stretching of the chest muscles are needed.
Your spine alignment can also put you at more risk of disk herniation (slipped disc) and siactia and other back related issues. Age, weight, physical activity, smoking, lifting technique and repetitive movements are all factors that can increase the risk of non specific back pain.
Another reason someone may have back pain is due to muscle imbalances. If your glutes and hamstrings are weak or tight, then your posterior chain of muscles will rely on your back causing straining. If your glutes are not strong or firing up as they should be, you will rely on back muscles, for example when lifting heavy items or getting up from a chair. In order to get stronger glutes, exercises in the gym or Pilates can help.
Also if your hamstrings are tight this will pull on your back muscles, so it is important that you stretch and work on flexibility.
The more flexible and supple you are the better conditioned your muscles will be and the less likely muscle imbalances will occur.
Back health is vital to us all and can have an affect on work, health and everyday life.
Diagnosis will be from a GP or physiotherapist but treatment (once given the all clear) can be helped by Pilates exercises and medication for pain if chronic.
Pilates exercises are done in a slow controlled environment where the instructor can help tailor the exercises to you. For those who are new to Pilates and have chronic back problems it’s always best to book one to one sessions with the instructor first. This is to get the best advice and guidance tailored to you. Then you can progress to classes when you feel ready and comfortable to know what you can and cannot do.
For more information and help or to speak to me about sessions please Contact me