Can I Do Pilates While I'm In PT?

by | Sep 9, 2010 | Pilates | 3 comments

I found this great question in my inbox today, and thought that I’d share my reply here on my Pilates blog.

“I have sustained a recent back injury, I am still going through physical therapy.  I am wondering when can a person safely sign up  for some pilates individualized sessions with an instructor and about how much would it cost?  I have never done pilates before and only became interested since some of the exercises are the same as the ones I am learning in pt.”

Here’s my Reply!

These are great questions!  Because you are currently under a doctor’s care and working with a Physical Therapist, I would recommend you asking your doctor and PT about starting Pilates. They may feel that it’s a good complement to your therapy, or they might feel that it’s better that you wait until you are released from PT.  Every individual is different.

Your Pilates teacher may also ask for a physicians authorization/release so they are confident that it’s OK for you to participate in Pilates. And if your doctor or PT has any special guidelines that you need to follow, they can be included in the release, this way when you start Pilates  everybody can be confident that the exercises that go into your Pilates program are in line with Dr.’s orders and safe and appropriate for you.

Definitely, since you are recovering from a back injury – private training sessions are the only thing I would recommend to start Pilates. The work with the Pilates equipment can keep you safe and stable while you are getting stronger and more flexible.  Pilates Matwork right now might aggravate your back, and in group classes there might be too many exercises that aren’t appropriate for you, plus the teacher can’t keep an eye on your every move to be sure you’re safe.

The cost for Private Pilates sessions varies depending on where you’re at in the country.  Session fees can range from $45-$150/hr. Some studios offer special package pricing where if you pay for more sessions up front, you’ll receive a discounted per/session price.  An average per/session fee is probably in the $60-$80 range.

It would be ideal to have a minimum of 2-3 Pilates training sessions/week.  Since Pilates is strength and flexibility conditioning, the only way to reinforce and improve your muscle memory is with repetition.  (Just like a weight room workout program.)  Joseph Pilates recommended doing Pilates a minimum of 4 days/week.

Not every Pilates teacher will have the experience or expertise to work with clients who are recovering from injuries or accidents.  So it’s always good to ask questions before you schedule an appointment.  Look for a Pilates teacher who has lots of teaching experience, good training, and has worked with other clients who have had similar issues.  Always appropriate to ask to speak to other clients for feedback and a referral.  And if you don’t click with the first teacher you try, schedule with somebody else until you find the Pilates teacher you are confident can help you.

Pilates is wonderful for helping back issues, there are so many great exercises, and learning how to improve your posture, body mechanics, and core support are key to avoiding more problems in the future.

If you have any other questions, please let me know.  Best of luck for a quick and speedy recovery!

Aliesa George: Over the past three decades, Aliesa George has helped assist people with their personal health journeys by sharing, teaching, and developing Pilates, Foot Fitness, and other Mind-Body programs.


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