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Should I Do Stretches for Lower Back Pain?

If you suffer from lower back pain, you’re definitely not alone.

In fact, experts estimate that up to 80% of the population will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain can affect people of all ages, and it’s the third most common reason for visits to the doctor.  

 

The good news is, most cases of lower back pain are acute: short-term back pain that may only last a few days to a few weeks. With proper self-care, this type of back pain can resolve on its own. Certain exercises can even ease that pain and help you start feeling better. 

 

Causes of Lower Back Pain

 

Lower back pain can feel different from everyone. It may feel like a dull, constant ache, or a sudden sharp pain. 

 

Most acute low back pain is mechanical in nature. That means the components of the lower back — the spine, muscles, intervertebral discs, and nerves — have been disrupted. When they don’t fit together or move...

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3 Tips to Help Heal a Sprained Ankle

You took an iffy step off a curb or overextended yourself on your recent run, and now you have a sprained ankle. With a couple of weeks of rest, you’ll be as good as new… right?

 

Unfortunately, sprained ankles rarely work out that way in real life. With many sprained ankles, people tend to cut the rest time short and then continue to injure themselves when they get back to regular activity. Worse, many people underestimate the damage done to their ankle: maybe it’s a tendon injury, or maybe you’ve got a broken bone!. Not understanding the extent of your actual injury can make recovery that much harder. 

 

That’s why it’s important to understand how a sprained ankle is never “just” a sprained ankle, and what you can do to help your body recover properly.

 

How your body compensates for injuries

 

Our bodies are created to keep moving forward, and with that comes a whole lot of compensation patterns. 

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How Good Posture Helps You Feel Great Inside & Out

exercise pain pilates posture Feb 17, 2020

Are you a sloucher? Do you have a tendency to sleep on your stomach? You may find that these things heavily impact your natural posture.

Throw in a desk job, a lot of sitting, and even a little bit of aging, and it’s a recipe for disaster on your body! You could already be feeling the effects without even realizing it!

 

Posture is not fixed overnight, nor is it made worse overnight. But if you’re feeling these signs, it could be time to fix it. Pilates and good posture go hand-in-hand, so here’s what to watch out for and how to feel better inside and out.

 

Anterior Pelvic Tilt

 

Let’s start in the middle. When your pelvis rotates forward (anterior pelvic tilt) it can cause your spine to curve excessively. As well as wreaking havoc on your posture, this can be a common cause of low back, hip, and knee pain.

 

Correct Pelvic Tilt with Pilates

 

Common for those in desk jobs, the main sign of anterior pelvic tilt to watch for is having tight hip flexor...

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Mobility for Low Back Pain

If you’ve ever found yourself suffering from some form of back pain, you are certainly not alone.

In industrialized countries, there are 60-70% incidence rate for non-specific low back pain according to World Health Organization. For many, they may feel that their back pain resolves itself for a short while, only to return again. For others, masking the pain with medications seems like the only option. But did you know that movement might just be your answer?

 

What Causes Low Back Pain?

 

In acute cases, meaning there is a new injury, the body will try to protect itself by starting an inflammatory process. Let’s use the ankle joint as an example. If you sprain your ankle out on a run, you’ll notice that it gets hot and swells up. This inflammation limits the movement you have in your ankle for a short period of time as a natural protection mechanism. As healing begins, the swelling goes down allowing you to gain motion back and walk without limping. But...

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How To Get On and Off The Floor

Does the idea of being on the floor give you cause for concern?

This subject has been coming up a lot over the last few months. Barring an injury, most people should be able to get down onto the floor and back up without needing someone else to help. Often, as we age, we lose some mobility and this is a big one for me. I have heard many times, “Why would I need to get on the floor at my age?” Or simply, “I haven’t gotten down on the floor since my kids were little”. Or a little more on the joking side, “There’s nothing down there that interests me."

 

Why Would You Want To Get On and Off the Floor?

 

All joking aside, even if you don’t want to watch TV sitting on the floor like the good ol’ days, and there are no children or pets that require you to get down to their level, being able to get down and back up again without assistance is REALLY important. There are several steps that can be taken to prevent falls, but...

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Pilates for Tight Hamstrings

“My hamstrings are so tight” is one of the most common complaints we hear from clients.

It is estimated that Americans spend an average of 12 hours per day sitting. With the amount of time most people remain sedentary rising every year it is no wonder more and more people are suffering from stiff and achy leg muscles.  We have had great results with clients practicing Pilates for tight hamstrings.

 

The Problem with Tight Hamstrings:

 

The hamstring muscle group is comprised of three long muscles that run from your pelvis behind your leg and attach to your shin bone below your knee. Their primary action is to bend the knee, but they also extend the hip as well.

 

Because of their attachment to the pelvis, hamstring tightness is commonly linked to low back pain. If they pull at their insertion site at the knee they can also cause knee pain.

 

How Pilates Can Help Tight Hamstrings:

 

While basic hamstring stretches often do little to...

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Does Pilates Help with Osteoporosis?

Studies suggest that approximately one in two women and up to one in four men age 50 and older will break a bone due to osteoporosis, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

With over 50 million Americans suffering from low bone mass it is no wonder treating osteoporosis successfully has been at the forefront of the medical community over the last 5 years. One of the most common questions I get from new clients is “Does Pilates help with Osteoporosis?” There are quite a few Pilates exercises that specifically help with Osteoporosis!

 

If you have been diagnosed with low bone density or know someone who has you’ve probably heard that weight-bearing exercises — such as walking — can help reduce the risk of a broken bone when you have osteoporosis. But you shouldn’t overlook Pilates as a potential bone-stimulating regimen for those needing to boost their bone density.

 

What Type of Pilates is Best?

 

Not just any...

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Seven Benefits of Prenatal Pilates Exercises

So, here we are — as I am writing this I am officially 25-weeks pregnant and it has been quite an experience so far.

 

You can read all you want, study the materials and get sound advice from friends, but I truly believe you cannot understand pregnancy until you actually go through it yourself. The craziest part about it is that everyone’s pregnancies are so different, and women will tell you that’s even true with multiple children. Despite differing pregnancies among women, one consistent variable are the benefits of prenatal pilates exercises. 

 

The Key to a Fit Pregnancy

 

Then we get to the much-debated topic of prenatal pilates exercises, in which case you hear all kinds of things. I have people ask me almost every day “Can you still do pilates while pregnant?” or “Are you sure it’s okay for you to lift that?” My response is always yes.

 

My intention is to workout until the day this baby...

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The Low-Down On Low Back Pain

If you are like most people suffering from chronic low back pain, you probably have been experiencing pain and discomfort for some time.

 

Many in this boat say that treatment works for a while, but the pain always seems to return. And there’s a reason for that. Often, the pain comes back with a vengeance because sufferers do not truly change what is causing the back pain in the first place.

 

Unfortunately there is no magic pill to ‘cure’ back pain, but after many years of working with clients suffering from various degrees of the condition, I have seen firsthand how such pain can be managed and alleviated. While exercising and stretching under the guidance of a knowledgeable practitioner plays a huge part in this, I believe that understanding your back pain is of utmost importance.

 

While I could discuss this subject for weeks, I’ve identified four core concepts to help provide you with a better understanding of low back pain, the cause of...

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Alternative Exercises for People with Achy Joints

Millions of Americans suffer from “achy joints” with causes ranging from arthritis, degeneration, injuries or just plain old age.

Exercise is a great way to help protect those achy joints and keep them as healthy as possible but what you do and how you do it are critically important to avoid flare-ups. Strengthening muscles around our joints will help decrease stress on the joint itself, which can reduce pain and stiffness.

 

Here are some general tips for clients with achy joints:

 

  •  Slow and Steady wins the race. Make sure you movements are smooth and not jerky. This will allow improved joint mechanics and prevent shearing forces that often happen with quick and uncontrolled movements.

 

  • Lift weights that are light enough to perform 10-12 repetitions.

 

  • Alternate between arm exercises and leg exercises to avoid overworking one body part or joint within your exercise routine. For example you can do bicep curls followed by lunges followed...
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