Updated: 7 Sep 2020
Pilates is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates, after whom it was named. Pilates called his method "Contrology". Pilates developed in the aftermath of the late 19th century physical culture of exercising in order to alleviate ill health. There is however only limited evidence to support the use of Pilates to alleviate things like lower back pain. Evidence from studies show that while Pilates improves balance, it has not been shown to be an effective treatment for any medical condition other than evidence that regular Pilates sessions can help muscle conditioning in healthy adults, when compared to doing no exercise.