How does Pilates help with lower back pain?

Having strong abdominal muscles helps with lower back pain, this doesn’t mean doing sit ups is the answer, we must be more specific, as in Pilates we are activating the right muscles with proper form and technique in the correct way.

When activating the muscles correctly specifically abdominal exercises can have a huge impact on helping lower back pain.

Transversus Abdominis (TA) is the deepest core muscle that wraps around your body horizontally like a corset, starting from the ribs and continuing down to the pelvis.

Throughout Pilates the focus is to tighten the TA throughout every exercise which stabilses the spine during movement. The Pelvic Floor, and buttock muscles also help the TA to correct lower back pain by helping to stabilise the pelvis.The best way to strengthen these muscles is specific retraining and training, this is very important as you can actually perform abdominal exercises without even using your TA. for example, people think they are doing sit ups and using their abdominals correctly, when actually they are only strengthening their more superficial abdominal muscles and not their TA at all.

Food for thought – does back pain cause the TA to become weak and lazy, or does a weak TA cause the back pain in the first place?

-Amy

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