Pilates for Lower Back Pain

If you have lower back pain, you are not alone. About 80 percent of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes. It is the most common cause of job-related disability.


With an epidemic of lower back pain, treatments such as Pilates are becoming increasingly popular to help prevent and manage pain and are recommended by the NHS.

Pilates-based exercises have been increasingly incorporated into physiotherapy rehabilitation programmes to help with the management of lower back pain.


  1. The neutral spine position taught in Pilates is considered to be the most functionally ideal or “perfect” posture for our bodies as it supports the least amount of loading and tension on the structures of our spine.
  2. The strong focus on strengthening the core also supports the muscles of the spine.
  3. Pilates will address postural asymmetries thus decreasing wear and tear resulting from uneven stresses on the intervertebral joints and discs.
  4. Pilates exercises help to address poor posture bringing your spine into the correct alignment.
  5. Pilates improves the mobility of the spine by treating each vertebrae individually, emphasizing sequencing of the vertabrae to stack on top of each other one by one in correct alignment. This focus on mobility, along with exercises that improve the stability of the abdominal and back muscles, works to prevent low back joint stiffness and muscle tightness.
  6. Pilates improves strength, flexibility, and suppleness of the muscles of the hip and shoulder girdle. Fluid and supported movement through these joints helps prevent unnecessary torque on the vertebral column.

By implementing the Pilates principles into your everyday life, you begin to fix the problem at the cause, rather than only treat the symptoms. They can also prevent injury as you will learn how to engage your muscles correctly to support your trunk and to move more efficiently and safely.

As with all exercise regimes, if you have lower back problems you should consult a medical professional before taking up Pilates.