Pilates for back pain

December 9, 2011

A recent UK survey of over 2000 employees by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy revealed some worrying trends.

Thirty-six per cent of people work through their lunch break and take no regular breaks at all. Nearly a third of workers  experience physical pain at least once a week with back pain reported as the most common physical problem followed by shoulder pain and neck pain.

People will suffer in silence rather than admit to feeling physical pain because they can’t afford to take the time off work or because they fear an unsympathetic reaction from colleagues.

“Typically back sufferers need to improve core body strength or correct posture imbalance,” says Pilates instructor Vanessa Pearce. “Pilates is effective in spinal rehabilitation and general back care and although everyone can benefit, it’s particularly satisfying to see people freed from back pain and fit enough to return to work.”

Pearce runs the newly opened London Pilates Studio in W4. The studio is a new addition to BiMAL Medical Centre and the practice provides locals with clinical expertise and therapeutic exercises in one Chiswick location.

As part of their therapy and rehabilitation, many of Pearce’s clients have been referred by consultant neurosurgeon Ian Sabin: “In my experience Pilates has preventative and postoperative benefits in combating back pain. There is no doubt that pain caused for example, by prolapsed and herniated discs, is alleviated by careful exercises that stabilise the lumbo-pelvic region.”

Back to work

The BiMAL team conducts clinical assessments using patients’ X-ray, CT and MRI scans and then tailors the treatment and rehabilitation to each individual. The plan incorporates allied health professionals such as physicians, osteopaths and podiatrists.

The aim of the physiotherapy/Pilates collaboration is to get people fit for work through treatment, postural re-education and exercise. Improved core body strength protects the back against further injury.

Better health is better for business and there are many steps that can be taken by employers and employees at little or no cost. ThenChartered Society of Physiotherapy has produced a leaflet called Fitness Profits, which provides advice on how to keep healthy.

It can be downloaded


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