No one likes to be injured. Apart from the obvious pain and discomfort (duh!), it’s certainly not much fun being rendered immobile and unable to do the things you normally love doing, especially if you’re active. When our client Lucy was struck down with a lower back injury this year, her physio referred her to Pure Moves to help get her moving again, strengthen her back and relieve pain. We had a chat with Lucy to find out just how Pilates helped get her back on her feet…
I am a keen netballer but have always been prone to lower back injury from a dodgy gym class many years ago. I’ve played at a pretty high level of competition for many years and early in the season this year my back just didn’t want to cooperate, meaning I was sidelined for a few months while I recovered. As frustrating as it was, I didn’t want to compromise my back health and when my physio recommended Pilates as a treatment option I was keen to give it my best shot. I’ve done a few Pilates classes, but never as a means to recovery and I can honestly say I have never moved or felt better since committing!
I started with a few private sessions, so the instructors could understand what was happening with my body and how I was moving. I was given a few strengthening exercises to do at home and recommended I attend Reformer classes 1-2 times per week. I started off slowly, gradually building my strength and mobility and within a few weeks was feeling so much better for it. As I got stronger, I noticed three standout elements to each class that were so beneficial to my recovery:
- 1. Slow, controlled movements
By moving the body slowly and with control, I was able to isolate areas of my back that required a bit more support. With the help of my instructor, I could effectively modify moves and exercises that helped to strengthen my back instead of pushing to the point of fatigue and doing more damage.
- 2. Conscious breathing
Pilates is all about the breath. Breathing properly through exercises helps you to move correctly and also delivers juicy, oxygenated blood to all your cells. This is particularly important for bodies that have sustained injury as it improves circulation and relieves pain.
- 3. Balance
Those who play sport will hear me when I say that our bodies are a bit out of balance. Usually when you get so used to playing or practicing a particular movement, muscles build up in some areas and are weaker in others. Pilates forced me to work all of the muscle groups. Particularly those that required strengthening such as my lower back and glutes, meaning my back will be supported from further injury.
I am so grateful to Pilates for helping me get back on my feet again after injury. When I started at Pure Moves my back was so bad I could barely put on socks, now I move freely, without pain and can’t wait for netball season next year!