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Why Pilates Relieves Stress, Improves Back Pain

Back pain sucks, but if you’re experiencing it, you’re not alone. It’s annoyingly common – so much so that the CDC found that one fourth of adults reported back pain in 3 months.

With that, you might be looking for a form of exercise that can alleviate it or and won’t aggravate it. Enter Pilates on the Reformer machine. Can it help with back pain? Let’s discuss! 

While every case of back pain is different, and you should always consult your doctor before starting an exercise program particularly if you have pain, there are many reasons why Pilates on the Reformer may help your back feel better.


3 reasons why Pilates on the Reformer is good for back pain


Reason 1: Pilates on the Reformer improves body awareness

Did you know that we often have less body awareness around the parts of our body that hurt and that for some people, this may increase the experience of pain?

It’s true and in this case of back pain, this means that while you may be aware that your back hurts, you may also struggle to sense how your back is positioned during exercise or movements of daily life.

Pilates on the machine can help with this, because the equipment provides tactile feedback to your spine while supporting you at the same time! For example, when you lie on your back on the Reformer carriage, your lower back is completely supported. Also, because your back is touching the carriage while you exercise, you are receiving constant feedback to that area, which will improve your body awareness.

The end result is that you will better be able to sense how your back is moving, which may also decrease low back discomfort. Heck yeah!


Reason 2: Reformer Pilates improves core strength and joint stability

We bet you’ve heard that core strength can reduce or prevent back pain. 

We’re gonna be straight with you. The science around pain and injury prevention is more complicated than this, BUT core work on the Pilates Reformer machine may help alleviate back pain, because of how Pilates exercises are designed.

An incredibly cool thing about Pilates on the Reformer is that it teaches you how to use your core to stabilize your back during virtually any activity including walking, running, golf, or tennis!

When you can control how your back is moving during exercise, it may reduce pain. 

And Pilates on the Reformer strengthens more than your core. It also targets other key muscle groups, such as your glutes and upper back, which are major players in supporting your joints and can reduce how hard your back has to work. 

This type of deep strength also makes all movement feel fluid and effortless, which will help you feel strong, confident, and more energized as you move through life. Who doesn’t want that?


Reason 3: Pilates on the Reformer improves flexibility and mobility

Here’s another wild fact about back pain. Sometimes, even though your back hurts the problem is elsewhere. For instance, it could be that your back is fine, but you don’t have enough flexibility in your hamstrings or hips are overly stiff, so your back takes up the slack.

Exercises on the Pilates Reformer are specifically designed to target and improve mobility in key areas, including your aforementioned hips. Additionally, many of the Pilates machine exercises have built in stretches for commonly tight muscles, such as your hamstrings, which can help you increase flexibility as you get stronger.

Back pain is complex. Feeling better doesn’t have to be, and Pilates may be the perfect form of exercise for you if you’re working to regain strength after injury or feel better during a flare up.