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Does Pilates Work for Joint Pain? Let's Find Out!

Pilates is a perfect exercise that can help your body feel relaxed and strengthened. The exercise system is designed to stretch all the major muscle groups, making your overall body feel light and stress-free. The main focus is on the postural muscles, which keep the body balanced and ensure that the spine stays healthy.

Effectiveness of Pilates for Joint Pain

Pilates can help people suffering from joint paint and arthritis, but many are still unaware of its benefits. Pilates helps build strength and flexibility simultaneously which in turn builds strength and endurance and minimizes tightness around the joints, alleviating the pain of aggravated joints.

Like any other joint conditions, arthritis can be excruciating and can make even day-to-day tasks difficult to perform. The fear of increased pain or injury during and after the exercise often stops those suffering from it to indulge in any physical activity.

The truth is that Pilates works in a holistic manner focusing on every muscle of the body, which relieves the pain and positively impacts the entire body.

Since arthritis causes stiffness in the joints, Pilates helps reduce stiffness by increasing the overall flexibility and muscle strength. You have to pay close attention to every movement in your entire body to establish a mind and body connection during the exercise. The connection allows you to create body awareness and mindfulness, evoking a sense of calmness.

Pilates movements are also easy on the joints, which means that people of all age groups can easily participate in the workouts. It doesn't require heavy lifting or extreme stretching to gain strength. Instead, the subtle movements and awareness of joint alignment reduce the burden and add strength to the joints.

Pilates also works on the core of the body to improve posture. The exercises help strengthen and stretch your knee, hips, shoulders, and spine during the workout. Apart from improving flexibility, motion, and posture, Pilates also elevates circulation, enhances cardiopulmonary function, and increases the body's abdominal strength. All exercise and movements are controlled; hence, they are done gradually to maximize their effectiveness.

Pilates in the Medical World

Over the years, Pilates has been highly successful in treating patients with arthritis. It's a low-impact workout, meaning people suffering from joint pain can easily do it without exerting any additional pressure on their joints. The exercise movements are prolonged and smooth, improving the range of movements in stiff joints and contributing to pain relief.

Moreover, a study conducted with thirty-nine subjects between the ages of 20 and 55, suffering from chronic lower back pain (LBP) showed that individuals who participated in Pilates demonstrated a significantly lower level of functional disability and average pain intensity over a 12-month period.

Pilates Exercises for Joint Pain

Pilates strengthens the body and builds stability.

Specific Pilates poses target specific joints, reducing swelling and pain. Let's find out more about them.

Cat-Cow Stretch

The cat-cow pose is a stretch and release exercise that allows you to target the thoracic spine and the lower back. Round your spine towards the ceiling and keep the gaze between your legs, making a cat-like shape. Arch your back while you let your belly relax and lift the head up to make a cow-like shape.

The exercise is performed on the hands and knees.


Pike is an exercise that helps you to loosen the stiffness present in the joints of the neck, shoulders, back, hip, ankles, and knees. An inverted V-shaped is created with the body that targets all these joints, allowing them to stretch and build strength fully.

Horse Kicks

Horse kicks are great if you experience hip pain as they aim to loosen the hip joint and strengthen the surrounding muscles.

Place yourself on your hands and knees and keep the knees hip-width apart. Lift one leg using a kicking motion while keeping the knee bent at 90-degrees, and the foot relaxed. Complete one and then switch to the other leg.

Double Leg Lifts

A fantastic exercise is performed by lying on your side with legs slightly bent. It helps to improve the posture that reduces back pain, and creates a stronger core.

Start by lying on your side and bend your legs a little. Use your arms to support yourself up, slowly lift both your legs off the floor, and lower them down again without touching the floor.


The exercise targets the hip joint. You need to lie on the side, bend the knees to a 90-degree angle to create a healthy alignment of the hip and the back.

Lie on your side, keeping your hip stable and heels together. Make sure your hips, shoulders, and heels are in a straight line. Lift the top leg 3-4 inches, maintaining the ankles' contact at all times, keeping the hips in place.

The Take-Away

You will experience significant pain relief by practicing Pilates regularly!

Remember; don't give up in the initial days as consistency is key in any exercise routine. You'll feel relaxed and revitalized indulging in regular Pilates sessions, which will evoke a sense of positivity and happiness in your life!

Experience the world of Pilates at the very best with Bodhi Pilates! Our Pilate experts will give you undivided attention to ensure your joint pain is relieved and you feel better after just the first few sessions. We promise you it will be a decision you'll never regret.

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