Just adding this simple group of exercises to what you already do for fitness, or as an entirely new fitness regimen will develop a strong balanced set of core muscles that will be much more resistant to lower back stress and strain, and will likely improve or even eliminate lower back pain.
Case Study: Jack
Jack (age 49) presented for chronic lower back pain that had been reoccurring over the past several years. He had a relatively minor injury, many years previous and the pain has exacerbated in the last few months as he has recently taken a job that requires more sedentary behavior than he has experienced in the past. Jack received several prescriptions from his primary care physician for a narcotic pain medication but complains of side effects and his concern of long-term dependence and increased tolerance. Jack has limited range of motion in bending and rotation, reduced by as much as 30% in bending and 50% in rotation to both the left and right, in a bending position as well as upright. Jack states that he requires either pain medication of frequent hot baths to relax muscles to increase range of motion if he has any desire to utilize these motions more than just minimally. He has not yet been given a referral for physical therapy, as there has been no known serious injury and there is no physical cause for surgical intervention, in his PCP's opinion. His health insurance restricts physical therapy treatment to post serious injury or post-surgical treatment. A naturopathic physician he visited to discuss natural pain relief options referred him to a BASI Pilates studio to begin a regimen that includes core muscle training of the abdominal and back muscles as well as proper posture training.
The BASI Pilates program of instruction includes all the above mentioned exercises. Those exercises were completed by Jack twice a week over a period of six months. The results have been significant. After the first four weeks Jack was able to stop taking all prescription and over the counter analgesic medications. After the first six weeks Jack was able to provide proof in sessions that he had increased range of motion in bending and rotation, as compared to the preliminary intake information, done by the BASI Pilates instructor. Jack remained in the program to this date (post 6 months from beginning) and expresses that he will likely do so as long as he has time in his life, as he expresses that his recovery from chronic lower back pain is directly associated with the BASI Pilates regimen that he has been using.
It has been clear for some time, to practitioners and participants of BASI Pilates that increased range of motion and decreased chronic lower back pain can be achieved through utilizing the regimen over, even a short period of time, with results that increase exponentially to normal or near normal rates of movement and zero pain over periods between 6 weeks and 6 months of training. All people experiencing injury or unknown chronic lower back pain should seek treatment from a physician prior to beginning any exercise program to make certain that there is no chance of exacerbating a medically treatable injury. Additionally, it is crucial that the individual seek a trained BASI Pilates instructor, who works in a reputable BASI Pilates studio and who is willing to work with someone who has medical concerns. Lastly, it is absolutely crucial that the instructor is aware of any pre-existing conditions and their limitations for the development of a specialized regimen and so awareness of limitations can be discerned through preliminary intake observations. The theory of BASI Pilates works well with the treatment of chronic or even acute lower back pain, as the core muscles of the back and abdomen are strengthened and a full awareness of natural neutral posture is obtained, by the client as a result of the training. When this theory is applied to treatment, and is successful most people report alleviation of chronic lower back pain and demonstrative healing, resulting from restored balance of abductor and flexor muscles and deep core posture muscles that support the spine and reduce overall tension on the region.
BASI Pilates Exercise Book
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