Pilates Community Forum > Flat Lumbar Spine - (Naturally) Fused Lumbar Vertebrae

I got a new client - a woman who would like to improve her strength (esp core strength) and flexibilty through Pilates and Yoga. I teach her a combo Pilates/Yoga, using Yoga mainly for breathing/mind control and static stretching of limbs.

She has a naturally flat lumbar spine - her lumbar vertebrae look as they are fused (non-surgically!) and she cannot flex it at all. Since she was a child, I think. When she is in forward bend, most of it comes from the thoracic area. She has no back pain or any other complaints. Just poorly conditioned muscles all over.

First, I tried to get her lumbar spine to flex :) I felt that it was impossible that it was completely fused, and I focused on Spine Stretch Forward, Roll Back etc - all the abs controlled spinal flexions that I had in my book. That lasted for two sessions and today, after the second one, I realised that may be I am trying to fit her into my idea of a healthy spine, but her particular body may be an exception and I should no longer try to fit her into my standards but try to work with what she has.

If her back is not giving her any problems, why do I want to get the lumbar area to flex - just because it is supposed to, according to my text book? Perhaps I should accept that fact and just focus on strengthening (and stretching) all other areas of HER body instead, that would benefit HER not a text book case.


On the other hand, if later in life it will start giving her all sorts of problems, I'd love to help her to do something about it - if it is at all possible.


I would welcome any advice from the experienced teachers!

September 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterOlga