Did you know 4 out of 5 adults will experience back pain at some point in their life. Back pain costs the NHS £481 million a year and accounts for 7 million visits to the doctor. Back pain is more prevalent in 35 – 55 year olds, is more common in women, and those with sedentary desk jobs.
Back pain can have many causes including poor sitting and standing posture, incorrect lifting technique (both in daily living or lifting weights in the gym), muscle imbalances, sitting for long periods of time, and stress.
Sitting for prolonged periods of time as so many of us do in our jobs causes muscles to become inactive, weak shortened or lengthened leading to pain. Take the upper body as an example, when sitting at a desk over a computer, the shoulders become rounded and head is out in front of the midline, this means the pecs (chest muscles) are shortened, the rhomboids (back muscles between shoulder blades) are lengthened, trapezius (diamond muscle from the top of the neck to out to shoulders) is working overtime in a lengthened position causing neck pain and tension headaches. This is just for starters there are lots of deeper muscles involved in this posture too. If you look at the lumbar spine (the lower back) most people slump into their lumbar spine, shortening their hamstrings (which we know most people with lower back pain have tight (shortened) hamstrings), posteriorly tilting their pelvis lengthening the hip flexors and switching off the glutes making them inactive.
Steps to reduce sitting related back pain include, strengthening the rhomboids and trapezius whilst stretching the pecs to bring the shoulders back in line. Lengthening the hamstrings whilst engaging the hip flexors and activating the glutes. And guess what, Pilates can do all of that.
Pilates mobilising the joints whilst stabilising them, isolates the correct muscles to activate the glutes and core and helps release tight/ shortened muscles. Pilates can cure back pain. Sarah has years of experience in improving clients back pain, if you are interested in Pilates get in touch.
We also have an online programme for Shoulder release which is perfect for the rounded shoulders upper back, neck and shoulder posture related pain.