Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Has anyone tried Pilates?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Exercise and Rehab
Hi there,

I was just wondering if anyone had tried Pilates here for exercise?

I do walk and do water exercise but I have seen the Pilates machines advertised and wondered if they would be good.

I am recovering well and have not had any surgery but I do have degenerative dessicated herniated discs at the L4/5 and L5/S1 level.

Your views would be helpful to me in making a decision.

Thank you :)


  • I was wondering the same thing. I was talking to a woman at the gym and she told me her friend had a herniated disc and that her doctor told her to do Pilates to strengthen her core. I am thinking of trying it just for something different to do with all of my other physical therapy exercises but I plan on calling my physical therapist and my surgeon to see what they say about it.
    Penny626 said:
    Hi there,

    I was just wondering if anyone had tried Pilates here for exercise?

    I do walk and do water exercise but I have seen the Pilates machines advertised and wondered if they would be good.

    I am recovering well and have not had any surgery but I do have degenerative dessicated herniated discs at the L4/5 and L5/S1 level.

    Your views would be helpful to me in making a decision.

    Thank you :)
  • Hi there,

    I have literally only just being diagnosed having narrowing dics in my spine but have been doing pilates for about 18 months prior. As per the previous post, I would speak to your doctor, PT and a potential pilates instructor for the best advise.

    Good luck,
  • I have done pilates just on the mat. Later, I had a private instructor using a pilates machine. Unfortunately, I never was able to "engage" my core.

    I wish that it worked for me because I have heard great things about pilates.
  • Yes I love it! It def worked for me in so many ways even boosting my energy! You just have to be committed and you can do it in the privacy of your own home!
  • Thank you for your replies, very helpful :)

    Yes I have heard good things about pilates too and thats why I was thinking to do it.

    Its good to know it has helped you Triks. I am sorry it didn't help you Lovinggardener, I understand engaging the core is a major factor of Pilates. I guess it just shows that different things suit -or dont suit- each of us. I was talking to a girl at work who had the same problem in that she couldn't engage her core - and she doesn't have back issues.

    mchell6789 If you would be Ok to share what your PT and surgeon say about pilates I would be interested - but its Ok if you don't feel you can.

    I am not going to PT now Trudi but I could check with my Dr next time I need to go for anything. Good idea to discuss with any instructor before attending a class, I do want to be safe.

    Out of interest-does anyone know if it is better to do Pilates on the mat or with a machine?

  • I will share what my PT and surgeon say. I haven't talked to them about it yet. I keep meaning too.
  • At least according to the instructor I went to, who is also a physical therapist, you want to start out on the mat to make sure you have the right muscles isolated, etc. You really should go to an instructor at first so that you know what you're doing.

    "Pilates" is one of those things that comes into style and then goes back out. Right now there are various things on cable that may or may not actually be based on the principles of Joseph Pilates. Some of the machines sold on the internet are simply "based" on the machines that you would find in a physical therapy practice or a fitness studio, or something. So, as usual, "buyer beware."

    You can buy a CD or book and learn that way, but there is a good chance you will not be isolating the right muscles. And with a spinal problem, it might be that much more difficult if you do it wrong.

    Another thing you can find on the web that might be of help to you is the work of Dr. Jolie Bookspan. She has some interesting ideas pertaining to "core" exercises. She has written several books, but you can find most of the information on her website if you spend some time and read through lots of the individual articles.
  • I'm sure you need to learn to do them correctly engaging the correct muscles. Most of my physical therapy routine I do now I learned over a couple months at PT and all of the exercises I am to keep my Transverse Abdominus muscle tight or pulled in but not the entire abdomen just those muscles and it took me weeks to learn to do that correctly under the supervision of my physical therapist so I'm sure palaties is similar in that you need to learn to engage the core correctly. I would never have known if I was using the muscles right except she could tell when I was so I learned how it felt when I was doing it right.
  • I love pilates! Anything you can do to strengthen your core muscles will help your back.

    I'm not a doctor and need a spinal fusion and bilateral decompression at L4-L5. I opted for epidural and then made my PT put me in traction twice a week. I've eliminated the decompression problem for now.

    I'm not a spine expert, but I think mat pilates as well as mat yoga will be great for you. Because of my spinal instability I just can't stretch backwards on my yoga ball DESPITE how good it feels. MY PT showed me on Mr Spine how it will just make my condition worse.

    You can also try pool therapy, where you use weights on your feet and floaties on your arms, to hang in the water while lengthening your spine. While at pool, power yoga and aerobics will also be good exercise.

    Try and not do to much twisting of the spine, as it will aggravate your condition.
  • Ok....my current physical therapist is a pilates instructor (found out later). She has me doing some pilates movements. Using a pressure biofeedback lumbar stabilizer helped me isolate specific ab muscles.

    i think finding a good instructor is the key to pilates.
  • Thank you all for your responses! Sorry I havent replied sooner-had some computer issues :( Anyway thats sorted now.

    mchell6789 thankyou so much for saying you will share anything info you get from your doctor. I apreciate that, no rush though I know how it is.

    Lovinggardener, that could be very good having a PT who is also a Pilates instructor, I hope you find it helpful.

    Yes I already do some pool work Lil Bo Peep and it is very helpful. I also do some specific corrective exercises which are very good for me. So I will continue doing those. Yes good advice on not twisting the spine.

    gwennie17 thankyou for your advice. I will look up those resources you mentioned , thankyou.

    I wanted something I could do eventually at home ideally in addition to add some variety and to keep my back as healthy as it can be and Pilates does seem to be useful in those respects- I would need to ensure it is done correctly though. Yes I agree with you all that it is important to get a good instructor, that seems to be key.

    So great to have all your experiences and insights-thank you so much :)
  • I'm with michelle on this. I went to PT to help build core strength. The PT had me doing the same type of exercise. They were all Pilates movements. You just need a trained person to make sure you do them right. Some Pilates exercises are not for spineys while other ones are perfect for us.

    Building core strength using the right abdominal muscles is critical to not getting hurt. Doing them in steps you can make each exercise more difficult. I got a couple of levels up before it started causing me problems. We came to the conclusion that until I get this next surgery. I can't push on. But staying with the basic exercises I have learned will help my core strength and help me recover from surgery quicker.

Sign In or Register to comment.