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For me Pilates started out of necessity, namely two herniated disks in my lower back. I’ve been athletic all my life, eventually getting involved with cheerleading. In fact, I now own a cheerleading training and consulting company that works with high school and college cheerleaders.

But it has taken its toll. In college, I had excessive stress on my back from stunting (throwing cheerleaders all over the place). This eventually led to the herniated discs. The pain was intense. I saw three different doctors and they all said I needed back surgery. The only way to recover was to take the discs out, replace them with screws and rods and take a year off. That was not an option.

I decided to see a fourth doctor and he recommended Pilates. I just happened to have a studio right around the corner from me, so one day I walked in there totally unsure of what I was getting myself into. But I was sure it had to be better than having surgery.

Much better.

I started off doing private sessions for the first year and a half. Within the first five to six months the pain was gone. It took that long to learn the basics of the exercise, but once I got the fundamentals down I was able to work through the movements and my back began to loosen up. I have not had any flair ups since. That was three years ago and the discs had been herniated since my freshman year in college. I know this is a condition that I will have all my life, but Pilates has allowed me to increase the quality of my life and continue to do my job without pain.

I recommend Pilates wholeheartedly and am a “lifer” at this point. Whether it is pain relief or just a healthier control of your body, this is the answer. You feel way more flexible, not tight or constricted and really understand how to move your body the right away.

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