Pilates can help ease lower back pain and the resulting loss of function and mobility it causes, say researchers. Performing Pilates exercises twice a week for six weeks gave participants in a study a 42 percent improvement in function and a 27 percent reduction in back pain.
Researchers said Pilates’ focus on aligning postures and engaging the lower back was responsible for the improvement. The Pilates workout emphasizes flexibility, core strength and controlled movements.
Humans who evolved to move and roam constantly during the day are now spending hours sitting in office chairs hunched over computer screens. The resulting damage is significant. Around 80 percent of us will suffer from back pain at some point in our lives, according to the American Chiropractic Association.
Researchers say men aged between 45 and 54 are the group most likely to develop problems, and the age of men at risk is falling.
The U.K.’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence issued guidance on the management of back pain in 2016. The Institute says a combination of treatment works best to alleviate back pain—exercise as well as psychological and manipulative therapy.