Pilates For Low Back Pain… Don’t Forget To Strengthen Your Core After Releasing Your Psoas!


Are you having back pain with sitting at the computer? While driving the car? Getting in or out of the car? Sitting without your back supported?

Maybe you’re experiencing back pain with your yoga routine? while playing tennis or golf? or with cardio at the gym?

If your lower back pain is severe, you probably can’t even stand up straight, move freely or bend forward to put your shoes on, much less worry about going to the gym.

This is a common story, because 80% of Americans will have one episode of intense back pain at one point through life, causing debilitating symptoms.

As a Holistic Physical Therapist, I have treated these common complaints thousand of times since the late 1990’s. With that said, I have found that a combination of releasing the hip flexors (psoas and iliacus) and the respiratory diaphragm followed by proper strengthening of the core stabilizers of the lumbar spine is essential to helping people in Austin stay active, fit and free from pain pills…even if they have had pain for years.

WHY the hip flexors and diaphragm? The psoas gets lots of attention (and rightfully so) and would be considered a buzz word in the industry, in the Physical Therapy world as well as the Pilates & Gyrotonic world. It is chronically tight in most people today, especially those that sit for extended periods of the day. It is a challenge to stretch and is often performed incorrectly. The tight psoas/iliacus is also trying to compensate for a weak core and when folks try to sit up straight, they typically arch their lumbar spine while attempting to get the head back and the shoulders out of their ears. This becomes the normal posture, but is not a good posture!

The diaphragm is a player because we breathe poorly and shallow overall and hold our breathe with many activities, especially exercise or when we are stressed. The diaphragm is overlooked and neglected when treating back pain.

Now it is time for some tips to address back pain from Master Pilates and GYROTONIC Trainer, Cheryl Dunn.

Watch this video to see how you can start releasing your diaphragm and each psoas muscle with a 4 inch inflatable ball. Then learn some basic diaphragmatic breathing and core stabilization exercises that are the foundation to building core strength in Pilates, or any functional exercise. Learn these essential tips that Holistic Physical Therapist teaches to his patients on a daily basis to beat back pain.

Stephen Dunn

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