Cellist Conquers Back Pain With Pilates

In 2005 60 year old Anne McCafferty, a cellist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, started having screaming back pain with pain down her legs. She had compressed 4 lumbar discs, causing nerve impingement. "People don't think of musicians as athletes, but in many ways, we are. Cellists tend to be prone to back problems because of the posture of sitting, and we don't have much flexibility of movement once the instrument is in front of us. Most of us sit toward the front of the chair, without back support."

After three months of physical therapy McCafferty started walking and taking Pilates mat and reformer sessions, a total of twice a week, to help relieve the pain.

"I've never been very athletic, but I find Pilates is crucial for me, as it enables me to do my job without pain. I'm in my 37th season and I want to be a lifelong cellist. If I live a long time, I also want to be able to stay in good shape. I'm highly motivated because it's changed my physical health."