By Dana Greenbaum, Pilates instructor
I started working with Tracey in the summer of 2013 after a doctor recommended Pilates to her. She had a herniated lumbar disc which she was rehabbing with physical therapy. When the disc improved enough so that she could increase exercise beyond walking, Pilates became her 'exercise of choice' to prevent future back injuries.
When Tracey first came to the studio, her range of motion was limited. We started with the basics, working mindfully, learning how to engage the core muscles to protect the back. As Tracey's range of motion improved, she quickly progressed to more intermediate exercises. With regular practice, Tracey has been able to strengthen core muscles (abdominals and gluteals) which she says has, helped alleviate and prevent her lower back pain. With this increased stability, Tracey is able to take on more challenging exercises within the Pilates structure and she does so with an increased confidence.
Tracey says, "Pilates has helped me in a variety of ways. The most important change was the decrease in lower back pain. The additional benefits...increased flexibility, feeling stronger and an improved understanding of how to properly use various muscle groups when exercising. For example, any stretch where I am in forward flexion has dramatically improved (as a result of) what I have learned and practiced with Pilates."
As her instructor, it is so rewarding to see how Tracey has progressed. Pilates can be a transformative journey to a pain-free lifestyle for anyone committed to improving their quality of life.