A Comprehensive Guide to Alleviating Lower Back Pain using Pilates

A Comprehensive Guide to Alleviating Lower Back Pain using Pilates

You know when your back hurts, and you just want it to stop? Research shows that 16% of Australians experience back pain issues. Most of the time, back pain isn't caused by a serious medical condition. People normally heal over time without any intervention. But some complicated cases require treatment such as manual therapy, medication, and exercises.

Besides suffering physically, back pain can hurt emotionally too. You can experience mood swings, suffer from low self-esteem and this can end up affecting relationships.

Among multiple options to handle lower back pain issues, try Pilates exercises. They can be a cool workout that can make your back feel better.

It's all about doing gentle exercises that make your muscles stronger and more flexible. So, if you are tired of that achy back, Pilates could be your new best friend!

Keep scrolling through this comprehensive guide on how Pilates for lower back pain helps.

What Kind of Exercise is Pilates?

Pilates is a strength-training exercise that differs from the usual strength-training exercises you know. The term "Pilates" came from Joseph Pilates, who coined the word Pilates after his name. He believed that our physical and mental health are closely connected, so he designed exercises that help both mind and body.

So, it focuses more on improving muscle tone than building muscles and you end up getting great stability and endurance.

Pilates exercises are vital and powerful. Though it's not a heart-pumping cardio exercise, it can definitely break a sweat as your muscles work in a new way. And these exercises are known for performing the small, deep, and often underused stabilising muscles that support the joints.

Since it's gentle on your joints, Pilates exercises can be done by people of all ages and fitness groups.

So, what equipment is used in Pilates? Pilates equipment and accessories vary from smaller, portable pieces, including resistance bands, Pilates mats, and Pilates rings, also called magic circles, to larger pieces, such as the Pilates chair, Pilates reformer, and Cadillac. Not all equipment is needed for performing Pilates. But some equipment, like a Pilates reformer, is essential if you want to target your back pain.

How Can Pilates Help with Your Back Pain?

Pilates exercises have become popular among people for their ability to handle and cure back pain. But how does it target back pain and improve spine health?

Pilates focuses on strengthening the muscles that support the spine. By doing so, it loosens the tight muscles. 

What helps achieve this is the Pilates equipment used in Pilates exercises, which plays a significant role in targeting back pain. There are multiple pieces of equipment used for the exercises and each contributes to healing the back pain.

This controlled movement done using the equipment strengthens the muscles surrounding your spine, including your core, back, and pelvis.

Pilates focuses on strengthening your core, which is a key component in back pain relief. A strong core provides stability and support to the spine and greatly reduces the risk of strain and injury.

By incorporating exercises that engage the abdominal muscles, Pilates helps to create a solid foundation for a healthy back.

Benefits of Incorporating Pilates for Lower Back Pain:

Pilates targets the muscles that protect your spine.

If the muscles around your spine weaken, it causes back pain. Pilates exercises can effectively strengthen these trunk muscles by waking up smaller muscles around your spine.

So with this little muscle workout, you make them stronger and more reliable in supporting your spine.

Can be an alternative to massage

Did you know that a single Pilates workout can simply improve back pain the way massages bring relief to tight muscles?

But for better results, it is recommended to get in two or three Pilates workouts per week. And have some patience for at least four to six weeks to witness the results. 

Note: Don't be hard on yourself. Pilates for back pain doesn't require long hours of workout sessions. Even a quick, short series of simple exercises and stretches, when done consistently, can help beat lower back pain.

Pilates can fix your posture.

Pilates makes you aware of proper spinal alignment and good posture. If you find yourself starting to slump, dump into one hip, or hunch, you will automatically correct it. So, besides helping fix your back pain, it also fixes your posture.

It increases your flexibility.

While it strengthens the core muscles, it also helps increase flexibility. A combination of stretching and strengthening exercises helps relieve tension, lengthen, and loosen tight muscles in your back.

So, once you start practising Pilates, you will automatically begin to implement healthier movement patterns into your daily life. For example, you won't bother to bend down to pick things up, carry heavy stuff, unload groceries from the car, etc.

Improved body awareness

Pilates can easily improve body awareness through a combination of focused movement, mindful breathing, and concentration on a specific muscle group.

This leads to mindful movement, better alignment and posture, breath awareness, and muscle engagement. 

But it takes consistency to practise Pilates. So be sure to incorporate these principles into your workouts and cultivate a deeper connection between your mind and body.

Redistributes the forces in your spine

If you have a stiff thoracic spine, which is from the middle to the upper back, it can hurt your lower back. Because if that part fails to move well, your lower back ends up doing more work to make up for it. 

Here, Pilates exercises improve spine mobility and are effective at targeting your thoracic area. When your upper spine segments are freed up of their blocks, it can take the pressure off the lower back.

Note: According to medical experts, Pilates exercises help individuals suffering from back pain. But if you are injured or suffering from lower back pain, it's best to get help from a rehab-trained Pilates instructor. Because only they can prescribe safe exercises beneficial for your condition.

How Does Pilates Equipment Help with Back Pain Relief?


It consists of a sliding platform that's anchored at one end of its frame with springs. You can move this platform by either pulling on ropes or pushing off from a stationary bar. Thus, this type of Pilates exercise helps with the challenge of moving the platform while also maintaining balance on a moving surface. The benefit? It strengthens your core muscles, supports your spine, and reduces strain on your lower back.

Cadillac or Trapeze Table

This is another piece of Pilates equipment that comes with a padded platform with a cage-like frame above it. Multiple bars or straps are attached by springs to this frame. This exercise targets tight muscle groups and improves flexibility in your back, hips, and shoulders.


A Pilates chair consists of a small bench-like platform with a bar attached to springs. Here, Pilates exercises are done either by pushing on the bar while sitting or standing on the bench, or by simply standing or lying on the floor. This exercise, done using this equipment, targets specific areas of weakness or imbalance contributing to back pain. 

Mat exercises

These Pilates exercises focus on strengthening the muscles of your spine and hips and improving the flexibility of your spine and hips. 

Often, Pilates mats are confused with yoga mats. Pilates mats are thicker and larger in size and have slicker surfaces. Since most of the Pilates exercises are done on your back or stomach, you need a thicker mat to support and cushion your body.

Pilates props

Pilates props include foam rollers, resistance bands, stability balls, and magic circles. These props can enhance back pain relief and provide extra support and resistance. For example, a foam roller—long, cylindrical-shaped tubes made from foam—can be used as a self-massage and exercise to release tension in the back muscles and improve spinal mobility. Planning to buy some cool Pilates equipment in Australia? Visit our store, filled with some exclusive Pilates accessories and equipment.

Final Words

So there you have it. Pilates exercises aren't just about moves and stretching alone; you can target your muscles that cause back pain and alleviate it. 

It mainly focuses on your core and its flexibility, which strengthens it. When the tight muscles are relieved from the pressure they handle, you automatically get relief from your back pain. 

But this requires consistency to have a pain-free back. Some effective Pilates exercises for treating back pain: pelvic tilt, swan dive, bridge, and cat-cow stretch.

If you are looking to buy Pilates accessories in Australia, visit the LOPES Pilates online store.

Are you a studio owner or someone who is looking to open their own Pilates studio? You must check out LOPE Pilates's equipment as well. We specialise in selling to studios, clinics, and businesses at B2B prices.

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