Clinical Pilates For Back Pain

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If you suffer from back pain – Pilates can be extremely beneficial for you. You can expect lots of different health benefits; from reduced (or eliminated) pain and discomfort from your injury to just generally being able to get about your day with more balance, co-ordination and comfort.

It’s a great way to improve your overall quality of life.

However, it needs to be very specific to you and your injuries (not just a general group program where everyone does the same thing).

So, What is clinical Pilates?

Clinical Pilates is a form of core stabilisation and segmental exercise that focuses on restoring normal movement patterns, correcting posture, improving core stability and control. It encompasses exercises targeted to balance, strength, flexibility, pelvic floor and diaphragmatic breathing. The Pilates Method was developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century in Germany and has been utilised for many years to reduce pain and improve core strength.

Currently, Clinical Pilates is used to treat a variety of injuries (particularly those of the back, hips, shoulders and neck).There is a lot of scientific evidence that supports the use of clinical pilates in the management of people with injuries, particularly with low back pain and back related injuries.

Overall, Clinical Pilates focuses on the retraining of the deep spinal stabilisers and core musculature (TrA and multifidis) to reduce pain, discomfort and improve your posture, strength and flexibility.

Differences between regular Pilates and clinical Pilates
Regular Pilates is conducted by a Pilates instructor, whereas Clinical Pilates is prescribed and supervised by a Clinical Pilates trained Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist (E.P.).

This difference is very important because a Physiotherapist or E.P., unlike a Pilates instructor, has an in-depth knowledge of injury, pathology, bodily function, healing and movement patterns. This knowledge allows an Exercise Physiologist to assess you and determine which exercises will be safe and effective for you.

This becomes especially important if you have any history of injury – whether it be low back pain, whiplash or osteoporosis there will be certain exercises which will help you and others that may aggravate your pain; this is something that only a Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist is trained to do.  Like any form of exercise, Pilates can be wonderful for fitness, however still has the potential to cause injury or pain if not prescribed and monitored in the correct way.

If you are interested in commencing Pilates for your injury, core weakness or postural imbalance, it is essential to have a review with an Exercise Physiologist to assess the suitability of a core stability program for you.


Clinical Pilates is now available in Ballina. Call Chantal on 1300 871 249 to book a free initial appointment (10 free available).


Chantal Burness, AEP, Clinical Pilates Instructor.
Optimum Allied Health – Ballina