Physical Therapy for Back Pain

I m Currently Seeing a Physical Therapist for Back Pain. Is it Still Okay to Take Group Mat and Apparatus Classes?

This is a difficult question to answer without knowing the cause of your back pain. Depending on the pathology, certain movements may be contraindicated. For example, if you have an acute disc injury, deep flexion and compression exercises—like Long Spine and Saw—are not recommended. However, if the source of your back pain is something else, perhaps extension or side-bending exercises are not suitable.

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Ideally, your physical therapist is educated in the Pilates method and can advise you on which type of exercises to modify and/or avoid. If your PT is unfamiliar with Pilates, hopefully your Pilates instructor has advanced training in injuries and pathologies (visit for more information on the course that I teach), and he or she can fill you in on exercises that are or aren’t appropriate for you during group classes.

If your Pilates instructor does not have this advanced training, you could ask him or her to please consult with your physical therapist. Between the two professionals, they should be able to guide you appropriately. once you know which specific movements to avoid for your particular condition, you can safely participate in group classes. Of course, it is always a good idea to speak with the instructor prior to class, so he/she knows why you are modifying or eliminating certain exercises.

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