Pilates for Osteoporosis

Why is Pilates so good for patients with Osteoporosis?


Pilates main focus is on the alignment of the body - elongating the spine and aligning it with the pelvis, hips, legs, feet, shoulders and head. What better way to combat the progresive forward flexion of the spine than to focus on posture and spinal decompression?

Additionally, breathing and concentration are pivotal to every exercise. If you are more "grounded" and centered in your mind, your body will respond accordingly and you may even be less likely to trip. Furthermore, balance and control are central to all Pilates classes.

Pilates is a whole-body experience and promotes symmetry of the musculature along with proper body mechanics. Along those lines, all exercises emphasise 'the core' - the deep stabilizing muscles of the lower back and pelvis, including the deepest layer of abdominals. When those are strong and can support the body, there is less effort to maintain an upright (or non-upright) position and also less risk of falling.


Pilates improves:

  •         Posture – keeping the spine lengthened to prevent spinal compression
  •         Efficient breathing – especially if the collapse of a vertebrae has caused compression of the
  •         Ability to 'hip hinge' – learning to use hips and legs to reduce painful movement in the spine
  •         Core control – provides stability
  •         Balance – prevents falls
  •         Co-ordination and neural pathways – this is learnt through all Pilates exercises, and are
           needed for walking steadily, without jolts to the side that can jar the spine


Pilates helps building bone in the same way as strength training:

When the muscle, which is attached to the bone by tendons, contracts, the tendon tugs at the bone, stimulating bones to grow. The stronger the muscles are, the more powerful the stimulation.


Please note, if you have osteopenia or osteoporosis, check that it's safe to exercise with our Osteoporosis specialist Dr Gill Pearson or your own doctor first.


Go to our downloads page to download a free Fracture Prevention Poster


Pilates Teacher

Anneli McCullagh

Anneli McCullagh BSc PhysiotherapyPilates Teacher

Anneli first came upon Pilates from a fitness view, training Pilates at a dance studio in London in the early 1990’s. She then came back to Pilates later, having injured her back and suffering from severe sciatica. She was so pleased with the effects of Pilates training that when she returned to work after being home with children, she decided to make teaching Pilates her future...

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