Pilates for Back Pain Part 7 of 8
Reducing Back Pain by increasing the strength of the oblique muscles
You have a built-in corset around your abdomen. It is formed by several components beginning with your abdominal muscles in the front of your body: the place where the 6-pack should be (6-pack as in amazing abdominal muscles NOT as in ‘this is where you rest your 6-pack at the end of the day’). To continue with the corset of muscles, after the abdominals you have the internal and external oblique muscles at the sides of the abdomen. Starting around the back you have the quadratus lumborum and to complete the circumference you have a strong connective tissue called the thoraco-lumbar fascia at the center of your spine.
Way too much attention is given to only one of those muscle groups. Know which one? Take a wild guess… Yes, of course, it is the abdominals, the 6-pack wannabe’s. This exercise takes the focus off of that group (and to see how I feel about so much mis-placed attention being placed on the 6-pack muscles, read my last two posts). This exercise puts the focus on the sides of the body. These muscles are responsible for stabilization of the spine and help with stabilization of the pelvis. Increased stability means increased control and almost always decreased pain.
Why is stabilization important? Because those of us with back pain tend to do the hula as we move through our everyday motions. Yes, we feel stiff but what is happening in the joints of the spine (and even the hips) is often anything but stiff. There may be a couple of vertebral joints that don’t like to move much but trust me… the joints above and below them are in there doing a killer hula to make up for the lack of movement above or below. That much movement equals instability which equals discomfort.
Okay, enough chatter, here’s your next exercise… Let me know if you have any questions about it. Karena