At some point in their lifetime, back pain affects an estimated 80% of American adults and is one of the country's leading causes of disability. Pain can be in the lower, middle or upper back, and the degree, type and duration of pain can vary greatly. Back pain can come on suddenly and last a short time (acute), or can continue for months or years (chronic).
Some of the common reasons for back pain include:
Muscle or ligament strain - repeated heavy lifting or a sudden movement may strain back muscles and spinal ligaments. Constant strain on the back may cause muscle spasms.
Bulging or ruptured discs - discs act as cushions between the vertebrae.
Arthritis - osteoarthritis and related conditions can affect the back and lead to a narrowing of the joints and space around the spinal cord.
Skeletal irregularities - back pain can occur with scoliosis, a condition in which the spine curves or twists to the side.
Joint instability - the sacroiliac joint can become painful if it becomes inflamed, or if it has too much or too little motion.
Pregnancy - the hormone relaxin allows pelvic ligaments to relax and the joints to become looser in preparation for the birth process, often leading to instability and pain.
Osteoporosis - vertebrae can develop compression fractures if bones become porous and brittle.
Pilates, CoreAlign, TRX &
barre for back pain
Pilates can help improve core strength and stability, posture, flexibility and range of motion, all of which are important in maintaining neutral alignment of the spine. With any kind of back pain, it is best to start with one-on-one Pilates sessions - the time, money and effort will help you learn to perform exercises correctly and will allow you to learn any necessary modifications.
Always confirm your instructor is well-trained and experienced in rehabilitative exercise related to your specific back problems, and is willing to work with your physical therapist or physician, if desired. Typically, two to three Pilates sessions per week are suggested to improve and prevent back pain from returning.
Like Pilates, CoreAlign is a valuable tool for helping to develop spinal strength and stability. The upright movement of the CoreAlign helps address imbalances in the body which can result from our modern lifestyle and other physical conditions or ailments.
Many barre exercise are borrowed from Pilates and encourage neutral spine, moving slowly and with intention, and working in an appropriate range of motion.
Classes incorporating the TRX Suspension System at Via Pilates are based in the Pilates movement principles, and are beneficial for overall conditioning and flexibility.
Back pain & injury*
*The information contained herein is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Clients with serious medical conditions should always consult with their healthcare practitioners before beginning any Pilates or other exercise program. Always inform your instructor of any injuries or health conditions prior to any exercise session.
Everyone’s spine is at least a little curved – nobody's is perfectly straight – but if the angle of the curve measures 10 degrees or more, the patient is said to have scoliosis. Scoliosis can lead to back pain, muscle imbalances, and more severe symptoms. With the right exercises, studies have shown that exercise can help address the challenges of living with scoliosis.
Hypermobile joints have a greater range of motion than typical joints, making them more susceptible to injury. Because many "classic" exercises and stretches can be potentially harmful for those with hypermobile joints, it is essential to find movement instructors trained to work with hypermobility and related issues.
Pilates for osteoporosis
Research shows that physically active individuals have better skeletal mass than those who are inactive. Pilates can offer a number of benefits such as increased bone density, increased strength and muscle mass, improved balance and helping prevent fractures, and improving overall flexibility and posture - if done properly.
While Pilates, including both mat and equipment exercises, can be an extremely useful platform for those living with osteoporosis, many Pilates techniques need to be modified in order to be safely performed by someone with osteoporosis.
Via Pilates instructors have extensive training and experience in working with clients with osteopenia and osteoporosis both in group class and private settings. It is suggested that clients with osteoporosis take several privates prior to participating in group classes to learn the appropriate modifications/adjustments needed to properly and safely strengthen and protect the body.