Many people would assume that engaging in physical activities that involve the spine would be detrimental for those who seek the care of a chiropractor for back and neck pain.
Actually, the opposite is true. Activities such as Pilates and yoga can be modified according to an individual's spinal health to work together with chiropractic care in correcting spinal issues and minimizing future spinal issues.
The benefits of yoga and Pilates for spinal health
Both yoga and Pilates offer physical activities that strengthen the core muscles. These deep abdominal muscles help to support the spine. Pilates and yoga are also low impact activities, which produce less stress on the spine.
While individuals with actual physical injuries to the spine may be limited in the activities in which they may engage, those with back pain caused by inactivity, poor posture, excessive weight, and weak core muscles can benefit from many of the activities that yoga and Pilates can offer.
How can a chiropractor promote spinal health?
Chiropractors alleviate back and neck pain, as well as other spinal related maladies, by correcting the alignment of the spine. This involves physical manipulation of the spine along its entire length.
When the spine is improperly aligned, spinal cord nerves can be pinched or irritated by spinal fluid. Because these nerves transmit impulses throughout the body, a damaged or irritated spinal nerve can cause pain in areas of the body such as the back, legs, and even the feet.
Damaged or compromised spinal cord nerves can also fail to transmit impulses from the brain to all areas of the body in an efficient manner. This is believed to affect overall health.
The spinal column can become misaligned by a variety of causes, including:
- A physical blow or a sudden violent movement from an accident such as whiplash, in which the neck is jerked violently.
- Improper lifting or lifting something too heavy.
- Excess weight coupled with physical inactivity.
How can chiropractic care work together with yoga and Pilates training?
If a chiropractor aligns the patient's spinal column but their core muscles are weak, future pain is likely. Yoga and Pilates training can produce stronger core muscles that will help to support the spine. In addition, low impact physical activity also promotes weight loss and a healthier, less sedentary lifestyle.
If you have spinal issues and intend to try either Pilates or yoga training, consult with your doctor and the instructors to determine the level of activity that is safe and beneficial for you.
Beginning physical activity at the proper level is important in minimizing the chances of further injury. Take it slow and build the core muscles gradually, and you will please both yourself and your chiropractor with the results.