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Pilates Sessions Can Ease Back Pain

Regular Pilates practice is helping men and women relieve lower back pain as they gain strength and flexibility.

Pilates, named for its inventor Joseph Pilates, is an exercise system that focuses on building the deep muscles of the torso — your “core” or “powerhouse.”

Strengthening your core can help you breath properly, maintain good balance, improve posture and relieve lower back pain, according to Jennifer Wines, B.S., C.P.T., group exercise coordinator and certified personal trainer at the Harris Methodist H•E•B Hospital Fitness Center.

Reducing Pain
A study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy examined the benefits of mat-based Pilates exercises on 39 people experiencing back pain over a period of four weeks. Those who participated in an hour-long Pilates program weekly, along with a 15-minute program daily at home, had a greater reduction in pain than those who did not.

“When a 66-year-old female student began classes two years ago, she had back and leg pain, which prevented her from doing anything strenuous, such as working in her yard,” says Wines. “By participating in Pilates, she built her core strength and no longer experiences symptoms. Pilates has improved her entire quality of life.”

Pilates classes run in six-week sessions, meeting Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings. For more information on group exercise classes at the Harris Methodist H•E•B Hospital Fitness Center, please call 817-267-9191. (Summer 2008)

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