Lynda Lippin (photo) is a Pilates teacher and personal trainer. “I started practicing the method because of chronic back pain. After trying physical therapy and yoga, it was doing Pilates regularly that got me out of pain.”

She also mentions a study that supports her view.

First, the details.

  • 39 physically active adults with chronic low back pain were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups.
  • A 4-week program consisting of training on specialized (Pilates) exercise equipment.
  • Or, usual care, defined as consultation with a physician and other specialists and healthcare professionals, as necessary.
  • Treatment sessions were designed to train the activation of specific muscles thought to stabilize the lumbar-pelvic (lower back) region.

And, the results.

  • Significantly less functional disability and average pain intensity were reported with Pilates vs the usual care group.
  • Improved disability scores in the Pilates group were maintained for up to 12 months following treatment.

The bottom line?
This study from researchers at the Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada used a modified form of Pilates to achieve this success. Unfortunately, the abstract of this study doesn’t list the modifications.

If you have back pain, consult with your healthcare provider first. Also, you might call Queen’s University to learn more about their program.

7/1/07 11:07 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.