Postpartum Back Pain Relief with Pilates
What is Classical Pilates?
Pregnancy is one of the most meaningful and remarkable experiences in a woman’s life. However, pregnancy is also a physically and emotionally taxing experience because of the pain and discomfort that can go hand in hand with anatomical changes. NewStride Physical Therapy in Corpus Christi provides a comprehensive Classical Pilates program perfectly suited to relieve postpartum back pain.
Classical Pilates is an exercise form that aims to improve overall fitness while developing the deep muscles of the core and pelvic floor. Classical Pilates is true to the teaching of Joseph Pilates and is a purposeful mind-body-spirit program. Its mind-body connection and non-impact, custom approach to exercise ensures that every patient reaps the benefits from a workout tailored to her fitness level and her body’s unique intricacies.
Classical Pilates exercise is performed on the mat, Reformer and Cadillac apparatus. The Reformer and Cadillac apparatus assist and challenge the patient to gain strength, flexibility and precision. The benefits of Pilates transfer into daily life and are revealed in a more upright, relaxed posture, and greater ease of movement, and increased awareness of the body.
How Does Pilates Relieve Postpartum Back Pain?
- Postural Alignment. Throughout the gestation period, postural alignment alters, and many muscles become imbalanced, which can put mechanical stress on the low back, pelvis, hips and feet. Improving postural alignment is therefore a key benefit of Pilates training during and after pregnancy.
- Lumbopelvic Region. As the baby grows, the woman’s center of gravity shifts, affecting coordination and balance. Pilates exercises can enhance these skills without compromising safety.
- Shoulder Girdle. The physical demands of lifting and carrying a newborn require upper-body strength and stability.
Pilates Program Recommendations for the Postpartum Patient
- Periodically Check for Diastasis Recti.
- Teach the Proper Way to Get Up From the Floor. A raised mat or mat converter on a reformer may be used instead of the floor.
- Be Sure to Warm Up and Cool Down Adequately. Joseph Pilates incorporated a warm up and cool down in his program to protect cardiovascular and joint health.
- Concentrate on Pilates Exercise Programs for the Pelvic Floor, Spinal Stability and Joint Stability, as well as on Balancing the Entire Musculoskeletal System.
- Avoid Large Ranges of Motion. Support positions using a small pillow, spine supporter or small barrel, and ensure sub-maximal contraction (25%) of the pelvic-floor and transversus muscles.
- Adjust for Joint Laxity. Increased laxity makes pregnant women more vulnerable to sprains and strains. Therefore, avoid long-lever movement and refrain from keeping your client in the same position for too long, especially while standing.
Be wary of the facility where you don’t see rapid relief from symptoms. A Physical Therapist trained in Classical Pilates should listen, understand and be quick in determining your needs. They will offer treatment that brings immediate results. Unless you have an unusual, complex condition a good Physical Therapist will bring fast improvement.
Be wary of the facility that uses passive treatment such as heat, ice, ultrasound, massage or electrical stimulation. They should never be the main part of your program for postpartum back pain relief.
Be wary of the facility that does not provide a comprehensive Pilates program using the Reformer and Cadillac apparatus. The apparatus is unique to Pilates and the program is incomplete without the appropriate equipment.