Does Pilates Work to Ease Pain

By: Steven Giles

Everyone has heard of physical therapy for pain, but what about Pilates? There are similarities between both. For one, they both involve slow, controlled movements. The second thing is that they can both be done by people who are in pain. The answer ultimately is yes, Pilates can help to decrease pain. However, it is important not to confuse Pilates with other tedious exercises such as lifting weights and running.

One must be able to withstand that amount of physical activity without further injuring themselves. If that is your goal, then Pilates would be a great way to build your inner strength – and rather quickly at that. So how does Pilates help to relieve pain? It relieves pain by strengthening your core. No matter what type of back or neck pain you are experiencing, you can be sure that it is coming from your core in one way or another. When you strengthen the muscles in the center of your body, it stabilizes and straightens the alignment of your spine; it’s as simple as that.

When the muscles are weak, misalignment can occur because there is nothing there to help hold your alignment in place. You may even find yourself walking, sitting and standing improperly due to the lack of muscle tone in your core. Instead of standing, walking and sitting with ease, your body is attempting to support itself by using other muscles that shouldn’t be used to perform those actions. Pressure, muscle spasms and cramping in parts of the body that should not be experiencing such stress are the result.

It may sound crazy, but you might just end up having extra pressure and muscle knots in your hips or shoulders in an attempt to support your back. This can lead to cramping and unbearable pain. When you go to the doctor to talk about your pain, they will most likely recommend physical therapy, right? In a lot of cases, insurance doesn’t cover physical therapy, so it ends up costing money – and lots of it. If you don’t choose to participate in physical therapy, your pain only gets worse from lack of care.

Pilates can help you to get past the difficulties of having to go to a pain management doctor. It can also help you to avoid having to take as many pain killers, or even eliminate the need for them entirely. One of the best things about Pilates is that it takes less time than attending a physical therapy session. You go through all of the movements, but without all of the pressure and unnecessary pain.

In time, (usually around two or three weeks) you will notice that your strength begins to increase. Like any other exercise regimen, you can begin doing more and more with each session. With every passing day, your pain subsides and life gets easier. That is because you have stronger muscles supporting the ligaments and joints in your spine. It is no longer a total-body effort just to stand up or lie down. A pain-free life can become a reality for anyone. It is just a matter of focusing on it and actually wanting it enough that you strive to make it happen.

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