If you haven't tried doing Pilates for back pain, you might want to consider that as a possible option. Recent research suggests that the popular exercise may benefit the daily lives of people with chronic conditions, such as a stubborn, achy back.
A November 2018 study published in Musculoskeletal Care analyzed 15 women and seven men with a variety of chronic conditions, including nonspecific lower back pain. Researchers collected data through digital recordings of four focus groups participating in a Pilates program in three British physiotherapy clinics. Results showed that this exercise helped folks out in more ways than one.
As you may be aware, Pilates is a unique exercise that emphasizes low-impact flexibility and muscular strength and endurance. According to the Mayo Clinic, some health benefits of Pilates include improved flexibility, better balance, and treatment of back pain. Since studies have previously shown that Pilates can help alleviate and even prevent some back pain, it's not super surprising that participants in the latest study experienced physical benefits after trying out the program.
However, this study also showed additional benefits of Pilates, such as the participants' ability to manage their conditions more effectively, pursue a more active lifestyle, and enjoy some much-needed psychosocial benefits. This led to the participants' ability to improve social aspects of their lives while also giving their physical and mental health a major boost. Talk about a win-win!
"The study was unique in that it investigated individual perceptions of the impact of Pilates on the daily lives of people with a myriad of chronic musculoskeletal conditions," said co-author Lynne Gaskell in a press release. "The Pilates-based exercise program was a facilitator to enable the participants to function better and manage their condition more effectively and independently. Improving function in meaningful daily activities produced psychological and social benefits that increased motivation to adhere to the program and promote a healthier lifestyle."
If you're interested in trying Pilates for back pain — or for health benefits in general — you can check out the website PilatesNearYou to find a local class. It's never too late for you to start feeling better in every way possible.