Pilates and Low Back Pain By Mrs Vera West

     You feel it immediately when getting up in the morning, that stinging pain associated with arthritis. You think that you are not going to be able to face the day, but going back to bed only makes it worse, and there is the desperate need to go to the toilet, but let’s not go there, especially if you are an old man. There are things that one can do, and surprisingly enough the exercise of Pilates helps. Just the thought of it stresses these old bones, but let’s go there.

“People with chronic musculoskeletal conditions may want to consider signing up for a Pilates exercise program. A study has found that it can help people with chronic musculoskeletal conditions function better and manage their conditions more effectively and independently. The study, which was conducted by researchers from the University of Salford in the U.K., was the first study to look at the individual perceptions of the effect of Pilates on the everyday lives of people with these conditions. For the study, published in the journal Musculoskeletal Care, the researchers recruited 22 people aged between 36 to 83 years old, who suffered from a range of chronic musculoskeletal conditions, such as nonspecific low back pain, peripheral joint osteoarthritis, and a range of postsurgical conditions.

The participants took part in a Pilates exercise program which lasted for 12 weeks. As the researchers looked at the impact of the 12-week Pilates exercise program on the perceptions of adult patients with chronic musculoskeletal conditions, they found that the program significantly improved the physical health of the participants. Participants were also more likely to pursue a more active lifestyle, as it improved their performance at work and hobbies. Additionally, the Pilates exercise program allowed the participants to manage their condition better and more independently. With these findings, the researchers concluded that Pilates provides physical, mental, and social benefits to people with chronic musculoskeletal conditions. It allowed them to function better and helped them manage their condition on their own.”

     Pilates was devised by Joseph Pilates, who published a book about it, Return to Life through Contrology, (1945). “Contrology” turned out to not be a commercial name. The idea is to develop holistic body strength and flexibility, using primarily the body weight, but there is a focus upon core exercises, the core being the abdominals, lower back and hips. These need to be strengthened and made more flexible.
One can have a look at the sort of exercised done at sites like:

     Now, while these exercises will be good for younger people, for a fat old lady like me, it would be painful to get on the ground and I don’t know if I could get back up again on my own. I would then have to crawl everywhere, and that is not really practical, because you will quickly get one’s clothes dirty. I have enough laundry to do now!



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Monday, 08 August 2022