Fibromyalgia – Pilates provides help

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome with widespread tender points and muscle pain throughout the body. Most people with fibromyalgia also report other symptoms including fatigue and difficulty sleeping. There is no cure for fibromyalgia but there are many options to help manage pain and symptoms.

Exercise is one of the leading treatments for fibromyalgia and Pilates is a great way to start exercising safely and intelligently. Pilates is a low-impact activity and the movements can be modified just for you and your specific needs. Pilates avoids putting excess demand on muscles, which is important for people with fibromyalgia. In fact, a scientific study* in 2009 found that people with fibromyalgia who did Pilates had less pain, better physical function and were able to do more of the daily activities they enjoyed.

Pilates is becoming an increasingly popular form of self care treatment for individuals with fibromyalgia syndrome. Like Yoga, Pilates is a therapeutic form of exercise that helps to treat a variety of fibromyalgia symptoms such as pain and fatigue. But what exactly is Pilates and how can it help to treat fibromyalgia symptoms? What makes Pilates an important component of fibromyalgia treatment?

Pilates, a non-impact method of exercise developed by Joseph Pilates over 80 years ago, is designed to stretch, strengthen and balance the body. Pilates has proven itself invaluable both as fitness and as an important adjunct to professional sports training and physical rehabilitation modalities.


How can Pilates help those with fibromyalgia?

  • Pilates can help individuals with fibromyalgia because it helps build muscle strength and reduces overall muscle tension.
  • Pilates exercises help alleviate widespread fibromyalgia pain by focusing on gentle strengthening and low impact movement while avoiding jarring movements that can cause injury.
  • Pilates helps to increase overall energy levels, thereby helping to reduce fatigue. Pilates movements are performed with smooth control. The movement is calming which helps control anxiety and fibrofog.
  • Pilates has both stretching and strengthening aspects to every movement which makes it a particularly beneficial exercise for fibromyalgia sufferers.

If you, a friend or loved one suffer from fibromyalgia, remember that Pilates not only helps safely stretch and strengthen the body, it can also help manage pain and improve the quality of life. It is also important to remember the benefits of a healthy fibromyalgia diet when managing fibromyalgia syndrome.


If you have any questions about Pilates and fibromyalgia or chronic pain management, please call or email us so we can discuss what's right for you.


*Reference: Lale Altan, MD, et al. Effect of Pilates Training on People with Fibromyalgia Syndrome: A Pilot Study. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. December 2009. Vol. 90. No. 12. Pp 1983-1988.