Did you know that chronic pain affects over 1.6 million people in Ireland with chronic back pain being the most
common. About 80% of adults in Ireland will experience low back pain at some point in their life. It is the most
common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work days. The majority of back pain
is mechanical in nature and can range from acute, sub-acute to chronic. Acute injury lasts around 6 days and
subacute lasts 6 weeks and chronic low back pain has been defined as pain for more than 12 weeks in the lower
The Pilates method was founded by Jospeh Pilates in the early 1900s with an exercise concept of body mind
exercises. Some of the main principles include:
· Centring – activation of the core muscles – the diaphragm, the transversus
Abdominus, the abdominal muscles, the multifidus and the pelvic floor muscles during
· Concentration – focusing attention on proper technique and performance when doing
· Control – moving slowly with purposeful and mindful movement and posture
· Precision – the number of repetitions and difficulty of the exercise is done with
high quality movement.
· Breathing – exercises are done in coordination with breath as this helps to
activate the deep core muscles.
· Flow – smoothness of exercises and flow between exercises.
Other key points are alignment and posture of the head and neck, the pelvis and the shoulders. The goal is to
strengthen and mobilise in neutral position to maintain the natural curvature of the spine.
What does the Research recommend in terms of Pilates and back pain?
A systematic review by Wells et al (2014) studied the effectiveness of Pilates exercise in people with
chronic low back pain. This study concludes that Pilates exercise offers greater improvements in pain and
functional ability compared to usual care and physical activity in the short term. Pilates exercise offers
equivalent improvements to massage therapy and other forms of exercise. Another review by Eliks et al
(2018) also concluded that there is a positive effect of Pilates in reducing pain and improving functional
outcomes in the short term. This research review recommends 60 minute sessions 2-3 times a week with a
supervised qualified instructor. It also advises and individualised based approach. Lin et al (2016)
also reviews the effectiveness of Pilates on patients with chronic non specific low back pain. The results also
conclude that the Pilates is effective in terms of pain relief and functional enhancement.
Why choose Pilates to prevent back pain?
As proven by the research Pilates helps to build the deep core muscles which help to stabilise the pelvis and the
spine as well as improving posture. By taking part in regular Pilates classes and working on some back care
exercises daily will help to keep your lower back in tip top condition – both strong and flexible.
As quoted by Joseph Pilates “Pilates develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical
vitality, invigorates the mind and elevates the spirit”.
Phone us today on 021-2011159 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org to book in for your 1-1
Pilates assessment and rebuild your core.
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