Back Pain Exercise Classes

Back Pain Exercise Classes

Clinical pilates to help manage long term back pain.


To help participants with long term health conditions, who are referred by a health professional, to attend and safely participate in exercise sessions. These exercise sessions are specifically designed following Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute (APPI) guidelines to develop strength, mobility and flexibility in people suffering with lower back pain and mobility issues.

The sessions use progressive mat based pilates exercises to help manage and reduce lower back pain and improve joint instability and mobility restrictions. Exercise classes are delivered by our Physical Activity Referral Service (PARS).


Hulme, Withington & Blackley

Benefits of exercise

Exercise is beneficial for both physical and mental health. In adults, exercise has a positive impact on numerous chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, whilst in older adults it has been shown to help prevent falls. Physical activity improves mental wellbeing across all ages, including for people with disabilities. Physical activity can also deliver cost savings to the health and care system by reducing preventable illness thus demand on services.


“I do feel that by doing PARS back classes it has given me better mobility. It has made me realise that I need to keep moving and keep exercising to strengthen my core and improve my health.”

“I am thanking you for the great job you are doing as your exercise classes not only eased my backache but have also improved my mental health. This has helped me get back to activities I enjoyed prior to my back problems, like gardening and walking.”

“I really enjoy doing the PARS sessions. They are very useful and very good for my back pain. My pain levels are still the same, however I feel fitter and I am no longer scared of hurting myself. I believe PARS is an excellent programme for people who have long term health conditions and disabilities. The sessions are also great for people who have never exercised to help them understand that even though there are some things we might not be able to do, there are other ways to achieve and keep the rest of the body healthy.”


Exercise sessions are set up within local community areas across Manchester using facilities such as leisure centres, places of worship, lifestyle, community and public centres and parks. This makes them accessible to anyone and easily reached, even if participants only use public transport.

Sessions are often set up to meet demand within a local area. Whether that be in relation to a certain class type (condition specific), increasing the number of classes or to meet diversity and equality, such as ladies only sessions.

Because sessions are community based it allows our Physical Activity Referral Service team to have good links with leisure centres. Community classes create a valuable pathway for long term, more independent exercise.

Project team

buzz Manchester Health & Wellbeing Service

Manchester City Council

Victoria Avenue Library

Withington Baths and Leisure Centre

Z Arts


Referral from a health professional is needed for someone to attend these classes. You can refer people here.

If you want any more information or have any questions please email or call 0161 271 0505 (option 1).

Strategic links



Helping people live healthier lives

Healthy Lives, Healthy People (MH Government, 2010)

Fair Society, Healthy Lives (Institute of Health Equity, 2010)

The Manchester Locality Plan – A Healthier Manchester

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Manchester Prevention Programme

Increased mental wellbeing

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Greater Manchester Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Reducing avoidable illness/death

NHS Five Year Forward View (Department of Health, 2014).

The Manchester Locality Plan – A Healthier Manchester

Manchester Population Health Plan

Helping people age well

Taking Charge of our Health and Social Care in Greater Manchester (GMCA, 2015)

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Manchester Population Health Plan

Evidence base

Department of Health and Social Care (2019) - UK Chief Medical Officers' Physical Activity Guidelines 2019

Public Health England (2016) - Health matters: getting every adult active every day

Public Health England (2018) - Physical activity for general health benefits in disabled adults:

Summary of a rapid evidence review for the UK Chief Medical Officers’ update of the

physical activity guidelines

Sherrington C, Fairhall NJ, Wallbank GK, Tiedemann A, Michaleff ZA, Howard K, Clemson L, Hopewell S, Lamb SE. (2019) Exercise for preventing falls in older people living in the community. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD012424.

Sport England (2017) - Review of evidence of the outcomes for sport and physical activity: A

rapid evidence review

If you found this page helpful, maybe someone else will too?

"The access, support and socialisation of effective exercise provided by the PARS Team is both vital and empowering."

Martin, Vascular Specialist Podiatrist, Manchester Leg Circulation Service (PAD)

Martin, Vascular Specialist Podiatrist, Manchester Leg Circulation Service (PAD) photo