It seems the holiday season brings out the worst in our bodies. It’s too easy to overindulge by eating too much, drinking too much and skimping on sleep & exercise. One false move and we end up with an aching back.
Low back pain is extremely common in the US. It can be the result of serious medical conditions such as lumbar disc herniation or spinal stenosis. Or it can be the every day garden variety of low back pain that results from poor posture and inefficient movement patterns. Always see your physician before starting a new exercise program but Pilates helps many conditions resulting in low back pain. To get the best results, work with a certified trainer two to three times per week. It takes about eight weeks to feel substantial relief in your back pain.
Poor posture results in abnormal wear and tear on the spine. Your mother was right when she told you to sit up straight. Maintaining the natural curve in the low back puts the spine in the most efficient position for weight bearing. If you sit at a computer all day with your spine bowed in a C-shape, your back is going to protest.
Strengthening the deep muscles of the abdomen and pelvis stabilize the spine. Exercises that include side bending and rotation help to strengthen the obliques (part of the abdominal muscles). Cues to “pull up on the pelvic floor” activate the pelvic musculature contributing to pelvic stability.
Clients with low back pain frequently have tight and weak muscles over the hips and buttocks (glutes). This results in disordered movement patterns especially involving the legs. A classic test is to lie stretched out on your stomach and lift or extend one leg into the air. Rather than using the glutes to lift the leg, clients with low back pain will compensate by using the low back to lift the leg resulting in pain or discomfort in the low back.
Inflexibility in the spine contributes to low back pain. The lower back is more flexible than the upper back. Clients with rounded shoulders and weak upper back muscles overcompensate by using their low back for movements requiring extension of the spine. The spine needs to be able to move freely for flexion, extension, side bending and rotation.
Many clients tell us pilates translates into their daily life. They gain a better understanding of their bodies and how they should move over time-a process called neuromuscular control. They “hear” us correcting posture while sitting at the computer or driving a car. As the core muscles become stronger and the spine gains flexibility, it becomes easier to maintain efficient posture and movement patterns. With consistent effort, your back will feel better in a short amount of time.
I love the classes and instructors at SDK Pilates! Stephanie, the owner, has been a tremendous help to me with understanding challenges I face with a bad hip. Her expertise and medical background have helped me select exercises that are appropriate for me and I have learned there are still plenty of things that I can do to strengthen my body! At other places, I sometimes overdid my workouts (and hurt myself) – SDK’s instructors have helped me increase my flexibility and strengthen my body in a s…
My experience with SDK Pilates has been outstanding. All of the instructors have been knowledgeable and welcoming. All levels of fitness and capabilities are embraced, addressed and challenged. Individual needs are seamlessly met with in the class. Every class is different and I always walk out feeling better than when I walked in. I take Pilates twice a week and wish I could take it every day!
SDK Pilates is wonderful! I have been taking classes from Stephanie for a number of years and thoroughly enjoy both her Pilates and therapeutic yoga sessions. Her training as a doctor enables her to work around physical limitations and injuries and strengthen weaknesses. She has helped me immensely with chronic shoulder issues. The fun nature of the classes, the camaraderie of the attendees and the great workout make SDK classes my favorite way to exercise!
Stephanie’s class is well-paced, challenging yet welcoming for first timers and those who are more experienced. She offers seamless coaching throughout and her enthusiasm and energy is inspirational.
Pilates has been a wonderful experience both physically and mentally – it relieves stress and gets your body in a “can do” spirit to stretch and feel good. The instructors are the best and the people I’ve met in class are fun to be with. Friendships develop. I will do this forever!
“Sandi and Elaine have the ability to deliver a class that meets the needs of all attendees in the class, even when there is different levels of experience. They have a great manner of presenting poses and ensure good form for a safe and enjoyable Yoga class.”
SDK Pilates is great! So far I’ve taken Pilates classes with Steph and Nancy, and I’m looking forward to Yoga with Mark. Currently working on core strengthening, shoulder mechanics, overall conditioning, and my golf game.
“SDK Pilates’ yoga instructors are beyond wonderful and very reliable. Our community and hospital staff truly enjoy the classes and we are extremely thankful for their partnership with us.”
“Sandi and Elaine have the ability to deliver a class that meets the needs of all attendees in the class, even when there is different levels of experience.They have a great manner of presenting poses and ensure good form for a safe and enjoyable Yoga class.”
I have taken yoga and Pilates classes from Stephanie for many years, and I can say that she is terrific. Her background in physical medicine and rehab makes her uniquely qualified to instruct and coach with a focus in balanced strengthening, proper alignment, and prevention of injury. I enjoy the low key environment at the studio, and have made many friends in her classes.