Tag Archive | pilates back pain

Spinal muscles are an essential part of back pain relief and prevetion

Importance of spinal muscles rehab to relieve and prevent back pain

pilates_back rehab_carlsbadDid you know that muscles have a critical role of supporting your spine, preventing and reducing back pain? Very often medical professionals underestimate the importance of the deep stabilizer muscles helping your recovery process from the back injury.

Studies show that after first episode of back pain, the deep back and abs stabilizer muscles become impaired and stop working properly. Those muscles are not recovering themselves, even when your back pain is gone. After that initial recovery your back and spine are still unstable and vulnerable to re-injury. So the fact is that very often poor spinal stability and support are directly linked with acute as well as chronic back pain.

The deep stabilizer muscles have a big role in taking off the total load from your back and let your spine and back heal better itself. So, in order to getting a long term solution to relieve back pain and prevent future injuries, a proper exercise program is essential.

Achieving and maintaining spinal stability

ImageThe human spine is unstable without its musculature and muscle control. The deep muscles, which are close to the lumbar spine, function is protecting spine from injury and their dysfunction shows as low back pain. Researchers have found out that people with lower back pain lose their ability to properly contract deep stabilizer muscles (probably) through pain inhibition. Deep back muscles – Multifidus and deep abdominal muscles Trasverse abdominus – are vital in controlling the lumbar spine. If those stabilizer muscles fail to function, stability may temporarily be provided by mobilizer (external obliques, rectus abdominal) muscles instead. The precision of movement is lost, leading to an observable movement dysfunction. So, finding the right muscles to train is a crucial part of an effective back rehabilitation. Unfortunately, many “traditional” back exercises only engage superficial muscles and actually may even increase uncontrolled mobility (instability) and decrease stability in the lumbar spine thus increasing risk of re-injury.

Spinal Stabilization training with Physical Therapist, or Pilates with very experienced Pilates instructor or Physical Therapist, will help you find and train your deep stabilizer muscles. These both methods focus on improving mechanical support of the spinal joints through specific deep muscle contraction exercises and clients learn to dissociate the use of deeper muscles from the use of the more superficial muscles.

Pilates for back rehabilitation and prevention
Pilates develops spinal (core, back) stability. The exercises focus on developing the strength and flexibility through appropriate use of the spinal muscles, which act as stabilizers and create vital support for the spine. Training with an experienced Pilates instructor improves your body awareness and teaches you how the proper muscle functions support and protect the spine. The Pilates method is designed to condition the whole body and will also help your overall muscle control, coordination and proper movement patterns.

Spinal stabilization training for back rehabilitation
Spinal stabilization training (used often by Physical Therapists) refers to back rehabilitation exercises specifically designed to isolate stabilizing and strengthening weak muscles of the spine as well as pelvic hip region. The SST is gradually progressive and specifically designed based on your specific needs and conditions. Spinal Stabilization training helps ensure movement in a controlled pain free range with proper muscle activation.

Pilates as well as Spinal Stabilization training focus also on improving overall muscle balances and posture which often heavily contribute back pain or are even the cause of the back pain in the first place. Both training methods are safe and effective way to rehabilitate back pain as well as prevent back injuries. Investing in your back and spinal health is important and with pilates or spinal stabilization training you will get a long-term solution to get rid of your back pain, or least learn to manage it. You will get sooner back to your active lifestyle and sport what you love!

Our SpinePilates program, in Carlsbad California, is specifically designed for people with back pain caused by herniated disc, sciatica, bulging disc, SI-joint dysfunction, scoliosis, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis,spondylolisthesis, spondylolysis, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease etc. The program is combination of Pilates exercises and Spinal Stabilization training and taught by Physical Therapist & certified Pilates Instructor.

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5 Common Misconceptions About Sciatica ( By PilatesWise Carlsbad, Encinitas, Oceanside )

5 Common Misconceptions about Sciatica

Sciatica is a medical condition
Sciatica is a symptom of another medical problem, not a medical condition on it’s own. Sciatica is generally caused by compression of lumbar nerves L3-L5 or sacral nerves (S1-S3) or by compression of the sciatic nerve itself. Sciatica usually affects only one side of the lower body, the pain extends from lower back all the way through the back of the thigh and down through the leg.

Sciatica is always caused by herniated disc or Spinal Stenosis
It is true that sciatica is often a symptom of herniated disc or spinal stenosis, but also piriformis syndrome, degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, osteoarthritis, facet joint syndrome and Si-joint dysfunction can cause sciatica.

Best treatment for sciatica is bed rest
Bed rest is not recommended. Inactivity will usually make the pain worse. Without exercise and movement the back muscles and spinal structures become impaired and less able to support your spine and back. Proper exercise and slight activity help exchange nutrients and fluids within discs to keep them healthy and prevent pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Chiropractor is the only who can help me to relieve my sciatic pain
In most cases people recover from sciatica (depends diagnosis) without any specific treatment. In some cases chiropractor’s care can give you a short-term pain relief but in some cases it will even aggravate the pain. Active forms of back rehab are more effective in the long term and almost always necessary to get rid off the pain. When you engage in a proper exercise program you can recover more quickly from flare up of sciatica and are less likely to experience future episodes of pain.

Pilates is a good exercise form for sciatica
Pilates is generally a good exercise form and rehabilitation for sciatica, but only when taught by a highly experienced pilates instructor or physical therapist trained in Pilates. Pilates is a whole body exercise form which strengthens the deep spine stabilizer muscles that support your spine. It also correct your muscle balance posture and muscle recruitment patterns. It is not recommended to do Pilates based on your own by books, DVDs or Youtube even when they are aimed for people with sciatica. Pilates group classes (mat & reformer) are not recommended either. Investing in a proper one-on-one training with an experienced pilates instructor / physical therapist is the best way to relieve pain and get your active life back.

Our Pilates studio in Carlsbad, California specializes in Pilates Back Rehab program (SpinePilates) which is specifically designed for people with back pain and sciatica caused by spondylolisthesis, spondylolysis, osteoarthritis, herniated disc, bulging disc, SI-joint pain & dysfunction, piriformis syndrome, degenerative disc disease, scoliosis and osteoporosis. Our program is a unique combination of Pilates and Spinal Stabilization training which is scientifically proven to be safe and effective way to rehabilitate & relieve back pain. For more detailed information about our programs please visit our website pilateswise.com.

IS YOUR BACK PAIN CAUSED BY MYOFASCIA? (by Pilates Wise Carlsbad, San Diego)

Fascia covers whole body and it provides structural support around our organs, muscles, joints, bones and nerve fibers. Fascia helps prevent and minimize localized stress in particular muscle, joint or bone. It is always under tension as long as gravity is present, and it also provides stabilizer components that helps our posture and allows us to perform movement automatically.

Fascia has been viewed clinically as a potential source of dysfunction. The research has found that chronic pain patients have some pathological changes in their thoracolumbar fascia. The thoracolumbar fascia is a tough fibrous sheet covering the back. It is tensioned by the muscles above, side and below. The fascia works as an attachment to several muscles and plays an important role of stabilization of the thoracolumbar and pelvic regions (as well sacroiliac joints). The thoracolumbar fascia attaches to the external obliques, internal obliques, transverse abdominals, latissumus dorsi and gluteus maximus. Because these muscles are connected through the same fascia, myofascia chains may contain restrictions and dysfunction in one area that influence another remote area. The thoracolumbar fascia also contains three nerve endings and may play a neuro-sensory role in lumbar spine pain mechanism.

Thoracolumbar fascia’s role as a cause of back pain is something that it is not shown by x-ray or MRI and is often underestimated by doctors. Chiropractors and spinal specialist treat spinal pain as a pain from vertebras or disc, but that is not always the underlying problem and may be a big reason why the back pain becomes, and continues, chronic. In most cases of back pain, especially in sub-acute or chronic back pain, the cause of the underlying problem may be more in muscle imbalances, poor posture or even myofascial dysfunction than spinal structure itself.

 

There are many specific stretching techniques about how you can release and mobilize the thoracolumbar fascia yourself, for example rolling with the foam roll. Besides releasing fascia, it is still very important to take care of your (deep stabilizer) muscles strength around your spine. Spinal stabilization training is specifically designed for people with back pain. It is scientifically proven to be very helpful exercise method for rehabilitating your back more safely and efficiently. For more information about Active Back Pain Rehabilitation, please click HERE

SI-Joint Back Pain and Treatment – Exercise Therapy in Carlsbad, San Diego

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Back pain and SI-joint dysfunction treatment – Exercise therapy

Sacroiliac (SI) joint’s dysfunction is somewhat of a mystery and difficult to identify. However, SI-joint dysfunction is very often source of hip or low back pain but underestimated by doctors and chiropractors. It is much easier to treat hip or low back pain than Sacroiliac Joint dysfunction. People with SI-joint pain do not get relief if the underlying problems and real source of their hip and back pain are left untreated.

SI joint is located between Ilium and Sacrum. It is working as a shock absorption for lumbar spine. So, the sacrum is mechanically associated with the spine, but also affected by alignment and movement of femur.

Any lumbar spine, pelvic and hip region asymmetry, leg-length discrepancy or loss of motion in one joint might alter the forces and can affect abnormal mechanical stress and symptoms in the SI-joint.

ImageI have many clients who got lumbar spine fusion and many years later have painful SI-joint dysfunction. This may happen after L5-S1 fusion, but also people with L4-L5 fusion may have problem on their SI-joint. Naturally, sacroiliac joint is the place that compensate to missing spine motion after the fusion.

There are 35 muscles that attach directly to the sacrum and they produce synchronous motion of the trunk and lower extremities. Decrease in the length and strength of these muscles causes adaptive shortening and muscle imbalances and faulty, compensatory movement patterns of pelvic girdle. SI-joint manipulation by chiropractors or Physical Therapists does not probably work long term, but might get short-term pain relief. The muscles overall have more important role in treating SI-joint dysfunction. Most cases SI-joint problem is really caused by muscle imbalances and compensatory movement patterns than the joint itself. Also, a home-exercise might not work either due to pain and misalignment of pelvic and spine. People with SI-joint dysfunction need to get some “AHA”-moments about their body awareness, posture and alignments.

Our body parts are designed to work together and the best treatment is to treat the body as a whole, and people with SI-joint problems will benefit of that approach, too. Many back pain and SI-joint treatments fail because they only treat symptoms, not looking for how your whole spine-pelvis and hip are functioning together.

Si-joint dysfunction clients need very specific therapeutic exercise program which focuses on neuro-muscle integration by balancing overall pelvic and spine muscles. Pilates is a good exercise form, but not enough if you don’t have a Pilates instructor who has the knowledge about SI-joint dysfunction. Usually instructors do not have that expertise and I’m surprised that even many Physical Therapists have not enough knowledge how to treat people with SI-joint pain. In my experience SI-joint pain decreases tremendously when individual gets more stability and strength in their gluteal, deep core stabilization and pelvic floor muscles as well as flexibility in their hip rotators. Unfortunately, this will not happen overnight…it takes time, approximately 3-6 months. However, the end result is priceless – NO MORE PAIN or at least less pain and stronger muscles around the joints and spine!

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For More about PilatesWise Active back pain and SI-joint dysfunction rehabilitation, please click HERE

Restorative Pilates Class For Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, Chronic Back Pain in Carlsbad, CA

Restorative Pilates For Chronic Pain And Overall Wellbeing

 

This class is for everyone, but it’s specifically designed for chronic pain such as fibromyalgia, lupus, myofascial pain syndrome, chronic back pain and osteoarthritis. The class is an unique blend of pilates, therapeutic strengthening and stretching exercises, breathing and relaxation techniques, myofascial release techniques and MELT method.

 

Proper exercise program is the best treatment for chronic pain. Movement heals physically and physiologically. Our classes focus on

  • Strengthen supporting muscles surround your joints and spine
  • Mobilizing joints and spine and emphasizing full range of motion
  • Stretching tight muscles
  • Releasing unnecessary muscle tension
  • Releasing myofascia and hydrating connective tissues
  • Relaxing body and mind

This all support your wellbeing physically and physiologically – and the most importantly – relieve overall pain.

 Are you in this pain cycle? We can help you out of it with our Restorative         Pilates class, taught by Physical Therapist & certified Pilates Instructor.

Classes are held on

  • Wednesdays at 11 am and
  • Saturdays at 9.30 am.

All classes are by appointment only and space is limited for max 5 people.

Please call or text 760.481.4943 to reserve your spot.
NOTE: 
Your first class is FREE!

Rates: Single class $18, 10 class package $150 ($15/class)

For more about our Pilates fitness and Rehabilitation program, please click HERE

Pilates for SI-Joint Rehabilitation

The Sacroiliac joint (SI-joint) is located between your pelvic (ilium) and sacrum (sacral vertebrae).This joint does not move very much but it is critical to transferring the load of the upper body to the lower body and provides shock absorption for the spine. SI-joint dysfunction is common source of back pain. The pain is dull, deep pain on your back or buttock and it may refer to the groin, down to the leg. The pain can be similar sciatica-like pain to herniated disc.

SI-joint dysfunction and pain may be caused by sacroiliac joints hypermobility (too much movement) or hypomoblity (too little movement). Si-joint hypermobility (joint instability) is typical for young woman during and after pregnancy. Abnormal or asymmetric forces to the hip and lumbar area may also cause SI-joint hypermobility or even torn ligaments around the joint.

One of the best “treatment” to the SI-joint pain and hypermobility is specific pelvic and spinal muscles strengthening and stabilization program. Pilates and lumbar spinal stabilization training are both very efficient and safe exercises for people with SI-jointdysfunction.

The exercises should focus on strengthening the “inner unit”. The inner unit includes the deep back and abdominal stabilizers; transverse abdominus and multifidus muscles as well as pelvic floor muscles and diaphragm. These muscles are your Pilates powerhouse: roof, walls and floor around your spine and pelvic. The Pilates powerhouse muscles provide stability for the SI-Joint and lumbar-pelvic girdle.

The “outer unit” is also important to stabilize your pelvic and spine. The outer unit consist of the obliques (external & internal), latissimus dorsi, erector spinae and gluteus medius & maximus muscles with thoracolumbar fascia. These muscles and fascia contribute to load transfer through the pelvic region with rotational activities and during gait. Also muscles around your hips such as hip abductors, adductors and rotators are important because they are involved in a proper function of the pelvic girdle while walking and standing.

Many Si-joint dysfunction sufferers compensate their movement (due pain) thus resulting more pain and problems also to their spine and back. To avoid further pain and problems Pilates is a wonderful tool. Only challenge is finding a good Pilates instructor who has knowledge and hands-on-skills to work with SI-joint dysfunction.

People can often get rid of SI-joint pain when they start to practice Pilates with a good teacher. A professional Pilates instructor has an eye on correcting client’s compensation patterns and underlying problems. Individually customized Pilates program can also help increase body awareness which is important part of correcting many postural habits in daily life and activities. A proper posture is extremely important for healthy SI-joint and pelvic alignment. Private Pilates training may be pricey, but it provides big help for anyone to alleviate pain and keep strong. The results will be priceless!

Please check out also youtube video clip about SI-joint dysfunction, Click HERE

and more about PilatesWise back pain program, please visit http://www.pilateswise.com

Is Pilates Good for Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis, also known as the “silent disease”, is characterized by low bone mass and decreased bone tissue. The bones become brittle, thin and prone to fractures, especially of the hip, spine and wrist. Risk factors for developing primary osteoporosis are being postmenopausal, Caucasian or Asian descent, family history, low body weight, little or no physical activity and smoking.

Physical activity has been shown to have a positive affect on bone remodeling. Many people who suffer from osteoporosis mistakenly assume they will fracture bones with exercise and do not realize that regular muscle use and exercise actually protects their bones. Research shows that regular exercise actually increases and maintains bone density at any age. The Australian and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society states physical activity may lower the rate of bone loss, improve muscle strength, and fitness can help lower the risk of fractures and falls among the elderly.

Osteoporosis changes the shape of the vertebral bodies (they become wedge-shaped) leading to Kyphosis, which means that curve of your thoracic spine is increased. The Kyphosis decreases postural support on your upper back and leads pains and spinal pressure.

Pilates is all about body alignment and its specific, corrective exercises help to relieve postural strain on the spine and to prevent further wedging and compression fractures. Pilates repertoire uses your muscles and joints evenly and safely move your joints through their full range of motion by improving flexibility, strength and overall posture. Pilates is a whole-body experience and promotes symmetry of the musculature along with proper body mechanics and that is big benefits for clients with osteoporosis.

Most important exercises for osteoporosis are the exercises that strengthen the back muscles. Back strengthening exercises overall constitute a powerful intervention for reducing pain and increasing functional capacity.

Avoid any exercise that causes pain. Avoid also exercises where you have to lift up your head and chest off the floor and exercises where you have to flex (bend) and rotate (twist) your trunk in the sitting or standing position. All of those exercises put a lot of pressure to vertebrae and discs. Stress into spinal flexion also increases the risk of a vertebral compression fracture.

However, while Pilates is good for osteoporosis, it’s not recommend to start with Mat Pilates. Many Mat Pilates instructors have only very little training and don’t know how to modify exercises for osteoporosis clients. Private Pilates sessions with Pilates instructor, who has knowledge about your disease and condition can really make a difference and help your fight against spinal and bone changing process and enhancing your quality of life.

And it’s never too late to start Pilates program, especially after menopause, when the pace of bone loss really picks up. Even then, starting a Pilates program will increase your muscle strength, improve your balance and it may keep your bones from getting weaker. Please visit our website HERE and learn more our Pilates for back pain program.