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Five reasons to try Pilates for Lower Back Pain

What is Pilates?

Many people have heard of Pilates however don’t have any idea what it involves – aside from thinking it similar to yoga. Pilates is a form of exercise where low impact movements are used to develop the strength, control and flexibility of your joints and muscles. It places an emphasis on core strength and moving with mindfulness to perform all movements. At Physio Professionals, all exercises are tailored to meet individual goals with consideration of your hobbies and any injuries you may have.

Pilates has been proved to benefit many different people, from post-natal women to those with chronic arthritis. However, this post will look at five ways Pilates can help specifically with lower back pain – as proven by Andy Murray who used Pilates to return to tennis following back surgery!


1. Strength
When we experience an episode of lower back pain often we have a loss of strength in our core muscles. This is due to a combination of immobility and muscle inhibition due to pain. This means that although your painful symptoms may improve with time, you need to restrengthen your back and abdominal muscles to reduce risk of future injury. All Pilates exercises focus on engaging your core throughout different movements to safely strengthen your back without risking a flare up.


Two women exercising on a Pilates machine.

2. Motor control
People with lower back pain often have poor patterns of movement even after their injury has healed. This is usually as we expect pain when we move our back in certain ways. Over time this will reduce the overall range of movement of your back and can create muscle imbalances and shortening.
b. Pilates can get you to start moving your back normally again, improve communication between your brain and back and reduce your fear of movement.

3. Weight loss
While Pilates may look like an ‘easy’ form of exercise, anyone who has completed it in the past will tell you that is not the case. By toning your body and strengthening your core you will reduce the load on your lower back which can improve your symptoms.

4. Improve posture
Good posture helps to reduce the stress which is placed onto your muscles and joints. Pilates strengthens the postural muscles that keep your lower back in its optimal position, improving your pain and preventing future flare ups.

5. Improve flexibility
During all our sessions we have a component of stretching and over time this will help to improve your flexibility. When we have good flexibility, we reduce our risk of injury and prevent the discomfort associated with muscle tightness from overworked postural muscles.
Pilates is a form of exercise that anyone can complete, and it is a great way to help improve long term lower back pain. If you have any questions or are interested in using Clinical Pilates to help your back pain give us a call!