TACKLING LOWER BACK PAIN, ONE QUESTION AT A TIME…

By Nathalia Costa, Core Pilates Instructor

Every day, millions of people around the world suffer from lower back pain. It’s an epidemic that has never sat well with me. As a Physiotherapist and a Pilates Instructor, I want to do something about it.

I’m originally from Brazil, where I completed a Bachelor Degree in Physiotherapy with Honours from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte. It was during this time that I first became interested in the way movement is intrinsically linked to the health of both our body and our mind. It was also when I first discovered Pilates. It makes sense then that Pilates was, and continues to be, so appealing to me. Pilates is all about movement, but it’s a holistic approach that is as much about mental health as it is about physical health.

As I began working as a Physiotherapist, my curiosity around holistic health was amplified. I wanted to understand and explore how both biomechanical and non-biomechanical variables have such a strong influence on people’s pain experience, the way they move and how they respond to certain treatment strategies.

Soon, I made the decision to move to Australia in order to investigate how biopsychosocial factors can influence pain fluctuations, specifically in the lower back. I was lucky enough to meet people here who provided me with some answers, who further enhanced my curiosity and who shared some of the same questions. My mentor, Lisa Jackson, is one of these people.

I’ve worked alongside Lisa as a Pilates Instructor at Core Pilates Brisbane since 2014. Lisa and I are committed to leveraging my background, and my studies, to benefit my clients. My priority then, is to help my clients better understand their body’s needs and build a harmonious relationship between the mind and the body. It’s so rewarding to see a client find more freedom in their movement and live a happier, fuller life as a result. I’m really proud of the genuine, caring environment the team has created at Core Pilates Brisbane.

Of course, when you’re always curious like I am, you never stop learning! I have recently started my PhD at the University of Queensland, where I am investigating how biopsychosocial aspects can influence pain flares in low back pain. I hope my research can provide us some insights about mechanisms of low back pain and enhance our understanding of this “multilayered” condition.

If you suffer from lower back pain, I encourage you to speak with me next time you’re at the Core Pilates studio. I’d love to share my learnings with you, and show you how Pilates can help. It’s not a quick fix for what is going wrong with your body, but it is a pathway to a healthier, happy life.

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