It always pleases me to see Pilates making the front pages of the newspapers, so this morning when my copy of The Times was delivered I was very happy to see the headline ”Pilates not painkillers best cure for backache”.
The article began by saying that taking drugs for back pain is largely pointless, following an overview of research.
The study was led by Manuela Ferriera of the George Institute in Sydney. Her team analysed 35 trials involving 6,000 patients using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for back pain and sciatica. Only one in six patients treated with the drugs received any pain relief that they would not have got from a placebo but that relief was so small that it made no difference to their lives. However, the drugs almost doubled the risk of problems such as bleeding and stomach ulcers.
Dr Ferreira stated that “back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is commonly managed by prescribing anti-inflammatory drugs. Our results show that these drugs only provide very limited short-term pain relief. They do reduce the level of pain but only very slightly and arguable not of any clinical significance. When you factor in the side-effects which are common, it becomes clear that these drugs are not the answer to providing pain relief to the many millions who suffer from this debilitating condition every year.”
Pilates not painkillers best cure for backache
Gustavo Machado, another of the researchers said “Patients with back pain should consider an exercise program to help them manage their condition, e.g. aerobic exercises, strengthening/stretching exercises, Pilates and core-stability exercises.”
Of course, all us Pilates people are reading this having known the truth for many years having dealt with thousands of clients. But it’s always nice to see it reported in the mainstream press, especially the quality press.
I have written before about similar topics before, and I think it’s important to stress again that the best remedy for a back condition and many other issues is not, as the report says, only one thing. Even doing Pilates alone, whilst it will without doubt improve the condition, is not the best way to get the maximum results for your clients. We must deal with any problem in a holistic way. I agree with the article that this must include Pilates/core-stability exercises and also cardio, but I would add another vital element; mental health. It is totally proven that pain is as much psychological as it is physical, if not more so. So my advice is to treat back pain with appropriate and varied exercise, but also use techniques such as meditation. This is the total wellness I refer to in my PilatesEVO training courses.
I’d love to chat with other teachers so if you have any comments then please drop me a line by clicking on www.pilatesevo.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chris Hunt is the creator of PilatesEVO, and he also runs wellness educations and retreats at the PilatesEVO School in Barcelona and online.
Pilates is my life saver. Really assists my chronic back condition
You are not alone! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. Best wishes, the PilatesEVO team.
I can’t say it any better than you have, I had a injury whilst training in Ballet class the pain so bad in mid upper back went into shock, this is now stabilised with pilates sessions, it occasionally will creep back with no apparent reason my theory possible muscle fatigue or its neurological. intense tightness & and stiffness, my first excercise is deep breath lateral thoracic feel the gentle stretch to upperback, can feel the breath stretching muscles as there so tight, then soft movement. Eventually pilates moves and recover twice as fast.
Hi, thanks for taking the time to comment! It is great to know that other Pilates people agree with this mentality. It would be great to work with you and explain how PilatesEVO can help with your teaching. As you have taken the time and trouble to write, if you are interested in an online education then let me know and I will offer you a discount. Best wishes, Julia (PilatesEVO team). Please email me at email@example.com
Good stretching always helps backaches! Heat as well, or simply standing under the hot spray of the shower to relax helps at times.