A quick Google search of Pilates will tell you that Pilates is the ‘go to’ exercise for relieving back pain, so let me sum up how it works.
Firstly, Pilates strengthens the deep muscles of the torso known as the core. This is important because it’s these muscles that give stability to spine. This doesn’t mean that the spine becomes stiff, it means that the spine becomes better supported during movement which decreases the level of pain experienced during movement and reduces the risk of incurring an injury.
Secondly, Pilates stretches your body in a way that improves the way you move on a daily basis. Ignore the images you see of skinny young girls bending in impossible ways, Pilates stretches the muscles that commonly become tight and impact on posture to create pain. Giving freedom to these muscles both relieves pain and improves posture.
Most importantly, Pilates improves proprioception, which is just a fancy word meaning ‘being aware of how you are moving’. Improved proprioception leads to better control over your movements, this will reduce the likelihood of moving in a painful way or in a way that may cause further harm.
People with back pain are often encouraged to do Pilates, however always check with a medical professional before jumping in.