Pilates was introduced in the 1920’s by Mr. Joseph Pilates. He developed a mixture of exercises to improve mental and physical conditioning. Strength, flexibility and core stability are the main components of Pilates. In addition to these main components, an emphasis is laid on control of movement, posture and breathing.

Initially, the dance community embraced Pilates. Slowly as the benefits of the musculoskeletal system and holistic health became more obvious it has spread widely in the Western world.

Evidence suggests that Pilates helps with chronic low back pain but it has not shown to be superior to other modes of exercises for back pain. Below find details of a few research studies showing the benefits Pilates.

In our first selected study, 36 patients were divided into three groups. One group participated in Pilates, the other participated in McKenzie exercises and the third group was the control.  This study showed that both Pilates and McKenzie exercises improved low back pain. Pilates in addition also improved general health. A Comparison of the Effects of Pilates and McKenzie Training on Pain and General Health in Men with Chronic Low Back Pain.

Our second selected study is a meta-analysis (an analysis of other studies) where eight randomised controls were included. The study concluded that Pilates provided pain relief and functional enhancement in patients with chronic low back pain. Other exercises also had similar effects if waist and torso movement were included and exercises were performed for at least 20 hours. Effects of pilates on patients with chronic non-specific low back pain: a systematic review.

Now coming to the pie and the latte. There is a strong link between obesity and low back pain. A study in Japan looked at 1,152 males. The BMI was calculated using weight and height. The % FAT was calculated by measuring the thickness of the fold of skin pinched in the mid-upper arm and at the lower tip of the shoulder blade.  The study showed that if the Body fat percentage was more than 18 then the risk of persistent low back pain was double and if the BMI was more than 30 then the risk of persistent low back pain was more than three times. Obesity and low back pain: a retrospective cohort study of Japanese males.

Watch a few videos of Pilates and get your back fit

Video 1

Video 2 

Mr Ampat along with Ms Bernadette Coates is commencing a functional rehabilitation programme in Southport from February 2018. This involves an initial personal assessment followed by 12 one-hour group session classes. The total cost of the entire programme is £150. NHS patients can join, but the GP and the local CCG will have to agree to fund these patients.  To book a place or for more information call 0161 4852476 or 0151 2275800.