Pilates & Disease: How Pilates Can Help Ease Pain

Expert Pittsburgh Pilates studio, Touchstone Pilates, describes the benefits of Pilates for those with a disability, injury, medical condition, and more

Lisa Pellow
Lisa Pellow
Pilates & Disease: How Pilates Can Help Ease Pain

Pilates is an excellent exercise for anyone searching to gain body awareness, flexibility, strength, energy, and improve mental concentration. There are classes at our Pittsburgh Pilates studio for beginners or experienced people so that everyone can reap the benefits of Pilates. The practice of Pilates can even benefit those with a disease, muscle or joint issues, or autoimmune and neurological orders. Find out how Pilates can do so much for those that are in pain and suffering.

How Touchstone Pilates, a Pittsburgh Pilates Studio, Can Ease Pain and Increase the Mind and Body Connection


doctor inspecting a woman's back
Practicing Pilates can help reduce back pain and other medical conditions.

At our Pittsburgh Pilates studio, we have clients with a disability, injury, or medical condition that feel better, move easier and with less pain, and gain self-confidence after working with our comprehensively trained and certified Romana’s Pilates instructors. After injury recovery or rehabilitation, Pilates is an effective way to regain strength, flexibility, and endurance. 

Here at Touchstone, we have helped clients who have suffered from conditions such as: 

  • Back pain
  • Sciatica
  • Scoliosis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Disc problems
  • Joint injury/replacement
  • Parkinson’s
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Reynaud’s
  • Scleroderma
  • Shin splints
  • Plantar Fasciitis 
  • Chronic fatigue 
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Breast Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Spinal Stenosis

Muscle, Bone, and Joint Issues

Pilates is a non-impact form of exercise that is easy on the joints with mat and apparatus resistance-based exercises that improve muscle strength, flexibility, and control. Pilates lengthens, strengthens, and stabilizes the muscles and joints through each exercise without overworking any muscle group. With the flow of one movement into the next, Pilates incorporates changing positions that engage various muscles to help with balance and control. This type of exercise leads to improved spinal stability, coordination, and alignment. Clients have reported better body awareness, improved ability to move, and less pain. The development of strong abdominal and back muscles and the buttocks, the “Powerhouse,” also improves muscle balance and symmetry.

Clients with pain stemming from excessive movement and degeneration of the spinal discs and joints are particularly likely to benefit from Pilates. When modified correctly, the exercises strengthen the muscles around the joints and discs and balance postural asymmetries. With improved strength, flexibility, and supported movement through the joints of the shoulders and hips, clients can prevent unnecessary torque on their spine.

Autoimmune and Neurological Disorders

Clients with autoimmune diseases may suffer from pain, joint stiffness, tightness, muscle weakness and spasm, slowness, or loss of movement and balance control. Pilates is gentle on the joints because exercises can be modified to fit a specific client’s needs. In addition, Pilates is about controlled, precise movements and requires concentration. As a result, Pilates can be an excellent way to counter symptoms, keep the body moving, stretch and strengthen muscles, and improve neuromuscular coordination.


Pilates instructor and student
Use Pilates to work on rewiring your nervous system and gain more muscle stability. 

The most common physical dysfunction resulting from a stroke is the paralysis of one side of the body. Depending on the degree of paralysis and once physical therapy is complete, clients can benefit from Pilates and focus on centering and strengthening the deeper core muscles. With spring resistance training on different apparatuses, the work facilitates rewiring of the nervous system through the controlled flow of movement, muscle stability, and alignment. Pilates benefits stroke survivors in another critical way — most stroke survivors intuitively hold their breath as they learn to move their bodies again. Pilates’ emphasis on controlled breathing with each movement boosts physical efficiency by oxygenating the muscles and helping facilitate movement. 


Clients that are diagnosed with cancer will typically face one of the most daunting challenges of their lives. Our experience, regardless of the type of cancer, is that clients face emotional and physical challenges throughout their treatment. Emotionally, Pilates focuses the mind through concentration and proper breathing. Endorphins resulting from the workout also bring a sense of well-being, improved body awareness, and a renewed focus on wellness. 

Clients who have surgery tend to suffer from pain, limitation of movement, and muscle weakness. Pilates’ physiological benefits are improvement in muscular strength and endurance, postural balance, increased range of motion, and better ability to perform activities of daily living. Lymphedema, a chronic swelling of the extremities caused by the obstruction of the lymphatic vessels, may also become an issue after surgery. Pilates is helpful in this instance as increased range of motion and movement through the exercises can drive these fluids through the lymphatic system and reduce swelling. The correct use of breath is also effective for moving fluid through the system. 

The practice of Pilates is genuinely unique and can help anyone struggling or looking to improve their health mentally or physically. At Touchstone Pilates, we are currently the only Pittsburgh Pilates studio to have accredited Romana’s Pilates Certified Instructors in the area. No matter what experience level you are on, you will learn the teachings passed down from Joseph Pilates himself. Schedule a consultation today to get started on your Pilates journey.

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