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  • Writer's pictureJess Mcdonald

Did you know Pilates can change your Pain?

Updated: Jul 7


Do you know exercise and movement change your body’s physiology?


At Move Sports Physiotherapy & Pilates in Belmont, we know movement can be daunting when you have experienced pain for a long time. Most people believe exercise benefits persistent pain but may not know where to start or are nervous and hesitant due to past pain flair-ups. That is where we can help!

A Physiotherapist doing a teaching pilates

Pilates can improve muscle strength, endurance, mobility, better-lubricated joints, and increased flexibility. While these adaptations are important, do you know regular exercise and physical activity have multiple positive changes in all the body’s systems, such as the cardiovascular, brain, nervous, hormonal, and immune systems?


Pilates can also undo some of the negative effects of persistent pain, including a weaker immune system, reduced fitness, strength, and resilience, and adverse impact on our mood. The combined effect of these system changes can greatly benefit people with persistent pain.


Clinical Pilates/General Exercise also has many related health benefits for people with persistent pain, including:


  • Improved sleep. For people experiencing persistent pain, poor sleep has been linked to higher pain levels. Exercise contributes to changing the fight or flight response, winding the nervous system down, and promoting relaxation.

  • Improved mood and reduced stress and anxiety. Improved release and responsiveness to naturally produced ‘feel good’ hormones and neurotransmitters (for example, dopamine) can reduce your perception of pain. These work similarly to some frequently prescribed pain medications and can help reduce pain medication dependency.

  • Increased pain tolerance and pain desensitisation. Even a short bout of exercise, like Pilates, can decrease pain for 20-30 minutes post-exercise. Regular daily exercise can increase pain tolerance and assist with re-engaging in activities ceased or limited by pain.

wunda chair, patient with OA, physio helping move
  • Improved immune function. Exercise reduces systemic inflammation through improved circulation and changes in immune system function. Increased inflammation promotes pain and low mood and is common in many chronic conditions.


Clinical Pilates is an effective and beneficial treatment for persistent pain through the combined effects of multiple positive changes in the body, brain, and nervous system that improve physical and psychological well-being.


Most importantly, exercise and physical activity can be safe and reduce the potential harm and side effects associated with some medications and medical procedures commonly used to treat persistent pain.


Reach out if you have more questions about clinical Pilates or how we can work with you to MOVE again.

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