Can Pilates Help Low Back Pain?

Pilates is a type of exercise that resembles physical therapy in many ways. Pilates is based on multiple movement principles, including breath, axial elongation and core control, spine articulation, head/neck/shoulder organization, extremity alignment and weight bearing, and movement integration. Pilates has been demonstrated to help in the rehabilitation process by improving these movement fundamentals. Pilates-based physical therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for both chronic and recurrent low back pain in studies.

Researchers found that a Pilates group showed better improvement in outcome measures than a massage group in a trial that examined the efficacy of an active method (Pilates) vs a passive one (massage) for treating low back pain. While both groups improved, the Pilates group did so to a greater extent. In addition, metrics such as back extensor strength and abdominal strength improved in this group. This study reveals that an active Pilates-based physical therapy strategy to treat low back pain is more beneficial than passive massage. However, further study is needed to better understand the clinical association between Pilates and low back pain.

Physical Therapy for Low Back Pain Using Pilates

What role do physical therapists play in this? Physical therapists address low back pain as one of the most frequent ailments. In fact, 80 percent of the population will have low back discomfort at some point in their lives, according to data. Pilates is a great treatment option for people suffering from low back pain at Pro+Kinetix Physical Therapy.

The deep stabilizing muscles of the core and spine are one of the key goals of Pilates. The transverse abdominis, internal and external obliques, and multifidus muscles are among these muscles. In patients with persistent and acute low back pain, these muscles frequently become weak and ineffective. These muscles assist the trunk to remain steady while the extremities move when they are working appropriately. This is referred to as “proximal stability for distal motion.” This notion is critical for sports performance as well as injury prevention. The absence of activity from the deep stabilizing muscles in individuals with low back pain, on the other hand, renders disassociating the extremities without causing excessive force through the spine difficult and uncomfortable. The Pilates Reformer is a fantastic piece of equipment that is utilized in advanced physical therapy clinics to provide further trunk training and stabilization in order to prevent low back problems.

Reformer for low back pain is one of the best physical therapy exercises. Ready to try this treatment for low back pain? For additional information, please contact us at

Oakland, CA Pain Management Clinic

Dr. Ben Bagge

Pro+Kinetix Physical Therapy & Performance

"We Help Active Adults & Athletes Get Back To Workouts and Sports They Enjoy without surgery, stopping activities they love, or relying on pain medicine."
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