Pilates is named after Joseph Pilates. Born in 1880, Joseph was a sickly child suffering from rickets and rheumatic fever. He was determined to overcome his ill health and studied many exercise regimes. He picked out the best aspects to achieve the best postural alignment with a balance between strength and flexibility. He went on to teach what he had found, to others. Pilates soon become popular with dancers, other sports people and was used in the rehabilitation of injuries.
Physiotherapists now frequently use pilates exercises in the treatment of back pain sufferers as research has shown pilates to be very effective in improving the stability of the spine.