Pilates with Mennieres?

by Patricia
(Retford, England)

Myself and a friend would like to try Pilates but we both have Mennieres Disease.

Although my daily life is not affected by this, my friend has to be careful about head movements that can cause dizziness.

My friend also has arthritis which can affect her flexibility. I too, albeit very occasionally, suffer from low to middle back pain (usually when I've overdone it with the gardening) but would like to think that Pilates could help me. I look forward to hearing from you.


Hello Patricia and thanks for writing. I have worked with other clients with Mennieres and we take it day by day and just do what they are comfortable with doing.

If you are in a class setting you will have to self monitor. Probably when lying keep the head elevated a bit with a wedge or pillow.

Pilates can definitely help with back pain if done with the proper instruction and modifications.

Your best bet is to find an instructor who might take you both on in a duo session on the equipment. They would be able to tailor the exercises to your specific conditions and the equipment offers many different options and adjustments that the mat won't. The spring tension is very gentle on the joints and a great way to get started before you hit the mats.

Best to you!

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Can Pilates Help With Balance?

by Gerry

I am getting older and noticing a loss in my balance.

I don't feel as steady on my feet and am looking stooped over.

Can Pilates exercises help with improving my balance?

Jennifer's Response

Hi Gerry and yeah, you betcha!(I'm from N.D.)

Pilates can very definitely help with your balance!

Pilates focuses on strengthening your core muscles, which improves your posture by holding the spine and shoulders in an upright position.

Having a strong supportive core and better posture helps to keep your center of gravity, which is right around the navel well balanced.

Pilates exercises also help to strengthen the muscles of our feet and ankles.

Exercises to strengthen our feet and ankles are most important to our balance because that is our foundation or base of support. And, most of sensors to keep us upright are located in our feet and ankles.

I just recently wrote a new ebook about exercises to strengthen and stretch the feet and ankles and also how to correct common foot problems. You can find the new Foot Ebook: Treat Your Feet here.

The foot ebook also includes exercises specific to aging feet and balance such as how to perform proper knee bends, how to strengthen your foot arches, and toe taps to strengthen the most important balance muscle in the body.

I have outlined some pages below for you to work on both your balance, rounded shoulders, and strengthening the core muscles with Pilates based exercises.

Balance Exercises Using Pilates Principles.

This page shows exercises that help with rounded shoulders.

The article includes a few of the many exercises you can find in the Pilates Ebook to strengthen your core muscles and improve your posture.

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Osteoarthritis and Pilates

by Anthony

I am 72 years old and practice Karate (with my granddaughter}.

I have Osteoarthritis in my upper spine resulting in vertical and lateral inflexibility.

Karate demands long low postures similar to yoga warrior postures with good upright body postures.

Is it likely that Pilates could help me to regain my lost flexibility.


Hello Tony and congratulations on practicing Karate at 72 with your granddaughter.

Joseph Pilates himself lived into his 80's and had a great physique from practicing Pilates late into life. He truly believed the age of our spine is in direct proportion to the age of our bodies.

Check out more about Joseph Pilates and his history here.

The great thing about Pilates equipment is that it utilizes spring tension, which is gentle on arthritic joints while stretching and strengthening them simultaneously.

I would recommend doing some of the upper body exercises that incorporate twisting and side bending, within your limits of course. These would include the Mermaid or side bending, Spine Twist, and the Pilates Saw Exercise that incorporates oppositional rotation between the pelvis and ribcage.

Check out some of my Pilates Reformer Workouts on You Tube here.

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