How Pilates Changed My Life — And How It Can Change Yours, Too!
Do you suffer from back pain and stiffness, hip pain or numbness and tingling or pain down your leg? If so, we have something in common. These were just a few of the issues I had for years. Due to scoliosis in my spine since I was a teenager, I thought back pain would be part of my life forever. Scoliosis caused morning stiffness, sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction, a protruding disc and joint degeneration.
After having our third child, the pain down my leg was no longer tolerable. I HAD to do something! That is when someone mentioned that I should try Pilates, and that is when everything changed!
Efficient, Mindful Movement
Pilates is an exercise system that helps strengthen muscles, increase flexibility and improve overall health. It focuses on engaging the mind and body together, resulting in mindful movement. This efficient movement not only decreases stress on the body, but it also improves our motion in everyday activities.
After a few months of doing Pilates twice a week and other lifestyle changes, the annoying tingling down my leg began to disappear, the pain in my hip/back area vanished and the morning stiffness went away. I noticed my core engaging with basic functional activities such as lifting a baby or laundry basket, twisting in the car to pick up the binky for the 50th time and sweeping the floor.
Activities that once caused pain and tingling down my leg no longer did! I remember the first time I stood at the counter for an hour fixing a meal and realized that my back didn’t hurt when I was done. I remember my mom commenting, “Did you get taller?” Since I was 32 at the time, I know I didn’t actually grow, but I felt and looked taller because my spine was aligned better.
I will always have scoliosis, but I’m pain free because I choose to take care of my back every day. Through regular Pilates, I activate my core and move efficiently—along with correct alignment and lifting techniques—to prevent pain. I’m human, so when my form gets sloppy, I notice the resulting pain and am reminded to take care!
Try Therapeutic Pilates Reformer Workouts
If chronic back pain plagues you, I encourage you to seek out Pilates-based rehabilitation. Balanced Fitness and Health is excited to now offer Therapeutic Pilates Reformer Workouts. With my training as a Pilates instructor and a Pilates Reformer onsite, you’ll learn effective movement patterns that keep pain at bay.
Through Pilates, you will utilize your core and become stronger and more efficient in your daily activities. Ultimately, this will reduce or eliminate your back pain. I’ll also show you correct sitting, standing and lifting mechanics, so you can take what you’ve learned and apply it to your daily life!
Next time, learn more about the principles of Pilates movement, which are essential to increasing mindfulness, strength, flexibility and more. Until then, please call us for a free 20-minute introduction to Therapeutic Pilates Reformer Workouts. It changed my life, and it just might change your life, too!
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Angie McCormick is a Physical Therapist and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist for Balanced Fitness and Health in Hiawatha, Iowa. Her professional expertise and personal experience with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) enrich her work helping clients with the exercise, nutrition and life skills required to conquer pain.