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Pilates-and-low-back-pain | Blog | Physio.co.uk | Leading physiotherapy provider in Liverpool and Manchester.

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Evidence surrounding Pilates for chronic low back pain

Background info

  • It has been suggested that Transverse-Abdominus (one of your core muscles) activation is delayed in people with chronic low back pain
  • Pilates is thought to reduce low back pain and risk of re-injury by retraining Transverse-abdominus (TrA)
  • TrA retraining is key for spinal stability and to ‘reset’ the delayed timing/activation issue (however evidence is limited to support these statements)

http://blog.corewalking.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/transverse-abdominis.jpgAs we commonly successfully treat lower back pain patients in our Pilates class we looked further into this topic to find out why the treatment was so successful…

The studyC:\Users\Physio\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Word\bMfA3e-t_eBdC8FAult7ACCZnCYn2iNgrbpjmbK2HtM,n5iHiSTBSr9e3nxIvNQdsNGjflCRiYMmFblq-s4o7QA.JPG

Efficacy of the Addition of Modified Pilates Exercises to a Minimal Intervention in Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain – A Randomised Control Trail.

Miyamoto et al, 2012 conducted a randomised control trial investigating the effectiveness of the addition of Pilates to a standard treatment program for low back pain.

In addition to the standard treatment of education, postural advice and simple movement exercises, Pilates was added to the program. They attended 2 sessions of Pilates per week over 6 weeks (12 sessions).

The patients from both the simple treatment group and the Pilates group were tested for levels of pain, disability, fear of movement and impression of their progression at 6 weeks and 6 months post-treatment.

The study found that pain, disability and impression of their progression all improved in the Pilates group at 6 weeks, however, these improvements between the groups were no different at 6 months. This may be because Pilates was not continued following the 6 week period.

SummaryC:\Users\Physio\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Word\bhETf2XLtiyeNO3hvDC3oE0v3eOagT8ca16E8G_sZVk,PtxClM8v25eYYeGtfX0G-FzuRVFXDLgNX8bzAi7mQ94.jpg

These findings support the advice and practice of our physiotherapists by encouraging and guiding our patients to partake in the regular exercise to maintain their lower back pain. Unfortunately, lower back pain is rarely ‘manipulated’ away in one session. There is definitely a place for mobilising soft tissues and joints in the treatment of lower back pain (that’s another blog entirely) however once this has started to improve your therapist will guide you towards specific exercise to maintain those benefits. This may be in the form of small group Pilates class with one of our specially trained Physiotherapists, or bespoke advice with your therapist during a 1:1 consultation.