Pilates and leaking brain fluid

Chris Hunt Pilates Brain Scanwww.chrishuntpilates.com

It has been reported by several media outlets over the past few days that, and I quote “Pilates causes leaking brain fluid”. The stories all follow a similar theme:

“Pilates may cause a muscle cramp or other sports injury, but what about a leak of brain or spinal fluid? Doctors in England believe that is exactly what happened….. A woman was suffering from persistent headaches before doctors finally discovered a cerebrospinal fluid leak in her spine which caused the pain unless she was lying down.

Normally, such a leak can be caused by surgery, an accident or even high pressure in the skull, but this time, according to researchers at The Journal of Medical Case Reports, said it may have been caused by her Pilates class, in which participants stretch and do resistance exercises on a platform with straps and ropes.

The woman said she felt a strange pop in her neck but showed no visible signs of injury. An hour later, however, she started getting a headache that went away only when she lay down. Her doctor diagnosed a neck muscle injury and prescribed medication to relieve the pain. But the headaches got worse.

Finally, after a month of doctors’ visits, scans showed fluid gathering outside of the spine and a tear in the lining of her spinal cord. After two weeks of treatment that included bed rest, anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen and caffeinated beverages, the woman recovered”.

I like to keep my blog posts varied, including some more frivolous posts every now and then. But today’s post is serious. What concerns me is that whilst rational people know and understand that such reporting reflects a tiny minority of cases, the danger is that such reporting can damage the reputation of Pilates in the longer term.

My question to you today is apart from the recent stories, have you any experience at all of any similar cases?

Here is the link to the article:


Chris Hunt is an international Pilates and functional training presenter and educator based in London and Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength. He also created Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. He organises Pilates events, retreats, fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona and Ibiza. For more information about training with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris Hunt, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? You can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.

Chris Hunt pays all profits made from this BLOG to his charity partners. More details can be found by clicking on www.chrishuntwellness.com and selecting the “charity partners” tab.

7 thoughts on “Pilates and leaking brain fluid”

    1. Hi Carole, and thanks for taking the time to make a comment. I will gladly read your “two cents” with interest and I hope we will keep in touch.

  1. Unbelievable. What irresponsible reporting. I saw another report yesterday that was just as bad, I won’t go into it in fear of opening up another can o’ worms, but I’m seeing this kind of thing more and more. Shameful.

    1. Absolutely Peter, but we should not be surprised and we must be aware of what the press are saying because our clients might be reading it… Thanks for taking the time to make a comment and let’s keep in touch.

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