Pilates for Rheumatoid Arthritis




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Published January 20, 2021

Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune condition that progressively attacks the body’s tissues and joints. It can significantly affect a person’s life, causing chronic pain and fatigue, while reducing movement and ability to engage in daily activities. It is also linked to a low level of perceived health status and higher rates of psychological conditions including depression and anxiety.

Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis, affecting 456,000 Australians or 1.9% of the total population, with higher rates in females. While it is increasingly common in aging, rheumatoid arthritis can affect anyone at any age. Rheumatoid arthritis progresses in four stages, from minor symptoms and stiffness to increased swelling and inflammation, and finally to visible joint deformities and joint fusion in severe cases.

While rheumatoid arthritis cannot be cured, early intervention and management can significantly reduce the severity of symptoms and delay disease progression. Movement and gentle exercises are key components of management. People with rheumatoid arthritis who exercise have a greater ability to do functional tasks, a higher level of fitness and muscle strength, and improved wellbeing.

Pilates for Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis by age and sex 2017-18 (source: AIHW)

The role of Pilates

Pilates is an exercise option with proven benefits for people with rheumatoid arthritis. Pilates exercises are low impact, meaning they have little impact on joints that are affected by rheumatoid arthritis. A participant can safely exercise and improve their muscle strength and movement, without causing any damage. Pilates also offers a fun and social exercise experience. Regular practice has benefits for both physical and mental health!

Studies have shown a proven link between Pilates exercises and improvement in rheumatoid arthritis, including reduced pain, fatigue, and depression, and increased aerobic capacity and quality of life. Pilates targets functional movement, increasing the ability to perform everyday tasks. The Pilates exercises do this by gently increasing flexibility, mobility, stability, and strength in key muscles and joints in the body.

Pilates for Arthritis

Everyone has different limitations with rheumatoid arthritis. There are often periods of flares or remission, and exercise needs to be adjusted accordingly. When it comes to exercising safely, it is better to have an individualized assessment and program to ensure the exercise program is right for you. At Pilates Can, we offer private-to-semi-private Pilates, where an experienced instructor creates a personalized program to improve your condition. As you progress to semi-private sessions, the instructor will continue to monitor your progress and make changes to your program as needed. They provide support throughout your Pilates sessions to ensure you feel comfortable and practice the correct technique.

Case Study

Several people have been doing Pilates here at PilatesCan

” I like the semi-private lessons as the groups are small, there is plenty of room in the studio and the program is structured to suit my personal needs. I am reassured that an instructor is always there to monitor what I do to ensure that I am doing things correctly and in a safe manner. The admin staff has also been helpful particularly during the transition to online sessions. My thanks to the Pilates Team for doing such a great job! “

– Cinzia B.

There are so many stories that show how Pilates can make difference in your life.

You might be our next one!




Are You Suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Pilates Can is here for you! Pilates Can offers assessments and a personalized program
to improve your condition through private and semi-private  Pilates sessions. Each
client receives a thorough assessment and a personalized Pilates program designed to
target their individual needs, restrictions, and goals.

To get started, talk to our friendly team  0419 777 477 or provide your contact


About the author 

Claire Gunther is a PAA Principal Level Pilates Instructor with over 20 years and 20k+ hours of professional Pilates delivery experience.


Talk to our friendly team to get your questions answered.

Find the perfect Pilates program to match your individual needs.

Call us now on 0419 777 477 or provide your contact details.

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