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Fibromyalgia and Pilates: A Delicate Balance

Updated: Aug 19, 2023

Fibromyalgia & Pilates

Fibromyalgia, a chronic disorder characterised by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tenderness, affects millions of people around the globe. It's a condition that can be highly debilitating, and management often involves a combination of medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes.

When it comes to physical exercise, Pilates emerges as a compelling option for many with fibromyalgia. Here's why:

Gentle on the Body

Pilates emphasises controlled movements that can be easily tailored to the individual's abilities. For those with fibromyalgia, a well-designed Pilates routine can provide gentle strengthening and stretching, without putting excessive strain on tender muscles and joints.

Mind-Body Connection

The mind-body focus in Pilates can be particularly beneficial for managing symptoms. Concentrating on breath and alignment often leads to improved mindfulness and awareness of the body, which can, in turn, help with pain management.

Potential Challenges

However, not all Pilates exercises are suitable for those with fibromyalgia. High-intensity or complex routines may exacerbate pain or fatigue. It's crucial for instructors to be aware of a client's specific symptoms and limitations.

Tailoring the Programme

The key to success with Pilates for a client with fibromyalgia is personalisation. Instructors should consider conducting a thorough assessment, discussing symptoms, and developing a programme that accommodates the individual's unique needs.

Tips for Teachers
  1. Communication: Regularly check in with the client about their comfort and fatigue levels.

  2. Flexibility: Be ready to adapt exercises on the fly. What works one day may not work the next.

  3. Education: Understanding fibromyalgia and its symptoms can lead to a more empathetic approach.


Fibromyalgia doesn't have to be a barrier to enjoying Pilates. With careful planning, open communication, and a willingness to adapt, clients with fibromyalgia can find relief and empowerment through a tailored Pilates programme. Instructors should consider collaborating with healthcare providers and seek continuous education on fibromyalgia to provide the best support for their clients.

Please note that this blog post is intended for informational purposes and should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult with healthcare providers for a personalised recommendation

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1 Comment

Sarah Pritchard
Sarah Pritchard
Aug 14, 2023

Some of the most rewarding clients to work with, and definitely requires a lot of listening and flexibility from the teacher, presume nothing! A lovely article thank you 🙏