For those looking for a good, low impact exercise as a result of a back injury or other back problem, Pilates has become a tried and true rehabilitation exercise regimen. It concentrates on core muscles in the spine, hips and back which help the body sustain its balance and spine support. One of the goals of Pilates is building a body awareness of the spine’s alignment, plus strengthening the main muscles supporting postural alignment. This can result is mitigation and prevention of pain, above all in the back.

Learning how to do Pilates and sticking to the main principles of the program makes sure that you get the best workout with the least amount of stress or injury. Your instructor will teach you how to focus mentally on controlling the movements of muscles and how efficient those movements are. Developing muscles deep in your abdomen and back for postural support and breathing properly both encourage a focus in your workout.

In it’s early years dancers were the main adherents of the program; they saw how flexibility, strength-building, lengthening of the body and balance was helpful to their art. In the late 1980’s there was renewed interest in Pilates. It now is gaining favor as a low impact method to stay in shape. And yes, it can definitely help improve back health.

Back health depends on the tone and conditioning of the many muscles in your back, as well as around your abdomen, all of which are addressed by Pilates exercise. The exercises, done on a mat, are akin to a form of calisthenics. They center on building strength in the core muscles in your body’s truck (hips, abdomen and spine). Mat exercises are fine to begin with, but doing exercise on Pilates equipment will bring even better results.

The equipment includes a few specialized pieces using spring resistance. One piece is named the Reformer; it has a sliding stand connected to a spring loaded frame. You sit on the sliding platform and employ a bar to pull/push, aiming to keep your balance on the moving device. The test of keeping your balance exercises muscles important for spine stability. By and large, you strength will develop in your back with most Pilates movements and help your back health.

Lynn Doxley writes for the popular blog, where you can read her yoga and pilates comparison and what she thinks of the pilates magic circle.