Pilates to improve posture & prevent back pain Knowledge Base
Book online now
Contact Call us on:
0161 426 0100

Improve posture and prevent back pain with specialist physiotherapist led Pilates.

We all come in different shapes and sizes, and might have inherited varying physical characteristics so how do we know what good posture is? As qualified Chartered Physiotherapists we spend 80% of our working lives assessing, treating and prescribing rehabilitation exercises for varying conditions and we are very rarely aiming to make our patients fit the ideal perfect posture because we all have a different idea of what this is. Instead we look to achieve a balanced posture, with joints being comfortably held in a neutral (i.e.: ‘middle’ position) and muscles working equally with their opposite partner.

When assessing posture, we are initially looking to see how much effort is being used to simply stand up. Some joints might be held slightly bent (typically hips might become tight with too much sitting) whilst other joints are overly locked out straight (knees have a tendency to do this). We also look to see if some muscle groups over working (such as shoulders being kept hunched up with stress) and if other muscles not doing their fair share (weak abdominals might result in an overly arched lower back). We also may assess balance to look at factors such as one side being favoured over the other and if the pelvis can be held level when balancing on one foot. Recognising these problem areas allows us to then prescribe the right exercises to start correcting them.

Physiotherapy assessment

Assessing the spine is a good place to start because everything is attached ultimately to this structure.

A neutral spine means keeping the gentle forward and backward curves in place whilst we are stood upright. It is important to maintain these curves as they help to dissipate any gravitational stresses that travel up and down our spines with normal day-to-day activity. However over time we may lose these curves: an occupation that involves sitting for prolonged periods may tighten hamstrings, which can tip our pelvis backwards, flattening the lower back curve. On the other hand, abdominals weakened by weight gain or pregnancy might result in an overly exaggerated the lumbar spine’s curve.

Our physiotherapist Pilates instructors gained their qualifications at the Australian Physiotherapist and Pilates Institute. Modified Pilates, as taught by our physiotherapists, starts by teaching you how to recognise how we can hold our spine in a neutral position. We then show you how to recognise the feeling when you switch on the right type of muscles that are required to hold us in place – these are our postural muscles – also commonly known as our ‘core’.

Our body has deep stabilising muscles around most of our joints. The core muscles that stabilise our lower back consist of 4 sets of muscles – transverse abdominis at the front, multifidus in the back, the pelvic floor on the bottom and our breathing muscle, the diaphragm on the top. When these muscles work in unison they gently squeeze around our spine, holding it in place with our pelvis allowing safe and controlled movement in all directions. Latest research has shown that training these muscles can help to reduce back pain.

Everybody has a functioning core or they would not be able to stand or even sit upright! However it is necessary to recognise the sensation of it drawing in, in order to be able to help it get stronger. Otherwise it is likely that other muscles will work too hard in its place and then there is a risk of injury. We realise that we learn in different ways so we use a variety of teaching methods and cues to help you understand what’s working in your body, ranging from demonstration, visual imagery to verbal physical description and hands-on palpation.

During Modified Pilates classes and private one-to-one sessions in the clinic you are then shown a progression of exercises working top to toe, whilst maintaining the core recruitment, making you gradually fitter and stronger.

When the spine and pelvis are held steady, the other power muscles that are attached to them have a strong stable base to work from, making walking, running and all other movements easier, more powerful and efficient. And this is how Pilates helps us to better manage sciatica, back and neck pain as well as other conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia.

Physiotherapy-Led Pilates
Go Back

To book your consultation please complete our online booking form*.

If you would like to know more about how we can help you, please contact us and one of our friendly team will be happy to discuss your needs, without obligation.

* Please note: If your treatment costs are to be paid directly by your health insurance company, we kindly ask that you contact us by phone or email to arrange your appointment.

0161 426 0100


Please read our cancellation policy.

Google Rating
Based on 44 reviews

Here's what our clients say.

Rose-Marie W. ★★★★★ I saw Nicky for pain in my c section scar which was affecting me on a daily basis. She was great at coming up with different treatments (exercises, physical manipulation and a cream) which have improved the pain I was experiencing.Helen Q. ★★★★★ Liz and colleagues have been treating my son for many years and are fantastic with him. Although his condition will never change keeping him free from discomfort and moving the muscles he can’t use are invaluable to his quality of life. We can’t thank and praise them enough not only for their knowledge but for their care, commitment and respect shown to us allSte W. ★★★★★ I went to Marple Physiotherapy with what I assumed was a sore neck, but it turned out to be my shoulder. After many sleepless nights in agony I went to see Liz, who after two visits got me back to normal. Everything from what she did in the practice to the exercises see gave me to do at home is geared up to promote a speedy recovery and her knowledge is incredible.Can’t recommend them enough.Andreea D. ★★★★★ Excellent input from Liz during my recovery after rather complex knee ligament injury. She provided step-by-step guidance with regards to specific exercises for every stage of the recovery alongside therapeutical ultrasound and massage. Highly recommendedEmily R. ★★★★★ From the get go, I have been really impressed with my treatment at Marple Physio and would recommend it to anyone with back troubles. The initial consultation was so thorough, I left feeling positive that I could improve my chronic pain. I really appreciated that Liz was able to explain the reasoning behind my long term back troubles (over compensation and shortened muscles etc.) She has given me a proactive treatment plan that I never got previously from other establishments and I have seen an improvement in my condition after only a few sessions.Simon T. ★★★★★ A massive thank you to Liz for getting me to the start line of the Manchester Marathon! Picking up an injury half way through training I feared the worst for the big day, but a swift treatment cycle had me back up and running in a couple of weeks. I had plantar fasciitis which I have heard keep people out for months on end so such a huge thank you for the wonderful care provided to help me back to my feet.Adam F. ★★★★★ I self-referred to Liz after an episode of chopping firewood resulted in a bad case of tennis elbow with constant pain and a complete absence of strength in my right arm. The combination of physical therapy over a course of weeks, combined with effective exercises for home, has all but cured it, in a surprisingly short time. In the process of treating my arm, Liz also diagnosed some of my long term back problems and set me on a course to strengthen the right muscles to counter those issues. Great experience and would wholly recommend.Christopher L. ★★★★★ Brilliant, extremely knowledgeable and caring. They put me at ease which is very difficult when you have a very painful back. Everything from the therapy provided to the online programme they use to send you exercises is first class.Kieran B. ★★★★★ I had physio on my shoulder with Liz and she is very friendly and an expert at what she does. She was quick to diagnose the issue and give me the appropriate exercises that helped fix the problem. Would definitely recommend.js_loader

At Marple Physiotherapy we pride ourselves on our excellent reputation. We therefore highly value the patient feedback we receive as we continually strive to improve our services.

Read more