Since Pilates emphasizes controlled movements and breathing in conjunction with strengthening muscles in the abdomen and lower back, it can be an effective fitness regimen for those with low back pain (via HSS). Pilates is aimed at identifying the spine by each individual vertebra and creating strength in the muscles that stabilize the spine and abdominal core. The reduction of lower back pain that can be a result of practicing Pilates stems from the focus on increasing spinal mobility, flexibility, and relaxation. Pilates also focuses on decreasing muscle tension, tightness, and joint stiffness, which can further reduce lower back pain.
There are several ways to practice Pilates, some of which require equipment and others that can be practiced in your living room with a yoga mat or towel. Pilates is often associated with specialized machines called "reformers," which are good for people who may require extra stabilizing support during workouts, per Everbalance. Reformers can be purchased for at-home use, but taking classes with a trained instructor will allow you to get to know the apparatus and understand proper form, which is especially important if you have lower back pain. Mat Pilates, in contrast, is a type of Pilates that uses floor-based equipment like exercise balls and resistance bands to perform controlled movements of the body. You can take in-person mat Pilates classes or practice on your own by watching virtual classes.
Always consult with your healthcare provider before trying a new pain reduction method.