(NaturalNews) Many adults suffer from low-back pain at some point in their lives. In fact, low back pain is so prevalent that the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke lists low back pain as the number one cause of job disability in the United States. Treatment for low back pain varies from over-the-counter anti-inflammatory to surgery. Because of the invasive nature of surgery, side-effects, and low success rate many patients and their healthcare providers chose to turn to more conservative options if they are able. Pilates is one of those options and has been shown to be effective in the treatment of low back pain.
Pilates is one of the most popular forms of exercise in the world and its popularity is growing rapidly. It was developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 1900's as a rehabilitation technique for bed-ridden patients. Pilates exercises can be performed on the floor or with the use of specialized Pilates equipment. Regular Pilates workouts improve flexibility and core strength.
The body's core muscles are made up of the muscles of the low back, abdomen, pelvis, and hips. The increase in core strength achieved through Pilates is one of the main reasons for its success with people with low back pain. For optimal functioning of the lumbar spine, the core muscles must be strong and equally balanced. A weakness or imbalance in any of these muscles may result in an increased stress on the spine and may result in low back pain.
A randomized controlled study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy in 2006 showed that study participants who did Pilates had more relief from low back pain than participants who did other forms of treatment.
Classes or individual sessions with a qualified Pilates instructor help to teach the neutral alignment of the spine necessary to most effectively work the core muscles. Improper form can cause further injury or pain so proper instruction is necessary. Patients with low back pain should avoid any exercise that involves excessive flexion, extension, or flexion combined with twisting as these motions place excess stress on the intervertebral discs.
With practice the exercises done with a Pilates instructor can be performed at home which increases the chance for success in reducing pain. Awareness of neutral posture, as taught in Pilates classes, during the activities of daily living also helps. Due to its functional training of muscles and increase in postural awareness in participants, Pilates is a good choice for people with low back pain.
Sheryl is a kinesiologist, nutritionist and holistic practitioner. Her website www.younglivingguide.com provides the latest research on preventing disease, looking naturally gorgeous, and feeling emotionally and physically fabulous. You can also find some of the most powerful super foods on the planet including raw chocolate, purple corn, and many others.