Every few months an article is published that says something along the lines of Pilates is bad for you, Pilates will give you a bad back or, core training is a waste of time.
The latest ‘Pilates ruined my life’ feature was published by (have you guessed it yet) the Daily Mail a few weeks ago and concerned a post natal lady with scoliosis who, after doing Pilates once a week for three months, claimed it caused her to slip a disc in her back. The article, then went on to quote a surgeon who said he was seeing an increasing number of patients with aggravated degeneration in their discs due to Pilates.
As a type of exercise which is often prescribed to help people with back issues, it’s sad that Pilates gets such bad press. There are good teachers and not so good but there are also participants who are super keen to learn and there are those that really already know what they’re doing thank you very much. It works both ways.
Here’s the truth. Pilates is rarely the cause for a back issue. Most people do it for one hour a week, what of the remaining 167? According to Dr Stuart McGill, professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo, Canada, it takes on average ten years of a continuous movement pattern (think golf, running or walking carrying additional weight) for your spinal discs to degenerate.
It’s also important to remember that your spinal discs degenerate faster than many other tissues in your body. Some teenagers have disc degeneration and according to a 2003 study, published in the Journal of Arthritis Research and Therapy, around 10% of 50-year-old discs and 60% of 70-year-old discs are severely degenerate [male subjects].
And perhaps the bigger issue here (which is rarely mentioned in anti-Pilates literature) is that two of the biggest enemies of back health are inactivity and excess weight.
So isn’t it time we stopped finding excuses to not exercise and stopped blaming others for our inactivity and physical weaknesses or injuries? The woman featured in the article clearly needed a little more physiotherapy and one to one assistance before launching herself into a Pilates course. Yes your exercise instructor is there to help but it works best as a two way process. Ask questions, do your home work, say if it doesn’t feel right. But at the end of the day, doing a little light exercise is going to do you and your back more good than sitting on your tushy reading this blog.
Read the original article here: