Pilates for Back Pain: Part 6 of 8
Moving onward and upward to something a little more challenging. This Pilates exercise challenges the flexors of the spine. It challenges them to NOT flex. Instead, the challenge is to stabilize. To hold the spine in a cushion of safety by not allowing errant twisting, tweaking and torsion. A weak spine tends to be a wiggly spine. This exercise will create strength to prevent too much wiggling (some wiggling is good after all).
Before we get started, here’s an interesting fact. When tested, those with a history of back pain have more endurance in their ability to hold a flexed position of the spine than those who have never had back pain. (A flexed position of the spine in this case is holding a sit-up position when you are halfway up in the process of performing a sit-up.)
Isn’t that amazing that someone with back pain had a better ability to hold this position than someone without back pain? And all these years we’ve been told if we have back pain we need to strengthen the stomach muscles. Appears to be false. It appears that those with back pain have too much strength/endurance there. And do you know where the back pain patients were weak? In their spines.
::Okay, is it just me or does these seem like common sense?::
A weak spine does need stabilization help from the oblique muscles and the spine flexors. But those muscles need to learn to stabilize. So that the upper and lower bodies can move without increasing the wiggle-factorof the spine.
The exercise above is an alternate to sit-ups. You will strengthen your abs by bracing them, not be flexing the spine. Flexing the spine is not only an area that doesn’t need strengthening if you have back pain but it also an enormous amount of pressure on a sore spine. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions about this series of exercises for pain relief.