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Pilates-for-lower-back-pain-part-2 | Blog | Physio.co.uk | Leading physiotherapy provider in Liverpool and Manchester.

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Lower back pain

Lower back pain affects most people at one time in their life, 8 out of 10 of us to be precise. Back pain not due to a serious problem or serious disease is referred to as Non-specific back pain and lasting longer than 12 weeks is considered to be chronic. The lower back is a complex structure of tendons, muscles, ligaments, nerves, small joints and spinal discs, an irritation to any these structures can cause your back pain.

Pilates is a form of exercise aimed to strengthen the whole body, the principle concentrates on controlled movements. It improves flexibility, strength, balance, control, coordination and endurance of the whole body. Due to the nature of the exercise programme, it can be modified to suit from a beginner to an advanced level.

As discussed in Part -1 of this series of blogs on Pilates and back pain, the Pilates method is widely recognised as a successful treatment for patients with nonspecific chronic low back pain. However, there is no evidence to date to suggest which type of Pilates approach is more effective. In today’s blog we will look at a recent randomised controlled trial comparing mat based exercise and equipment based Pilates;

Effectiveness of Mat Pilates or Equipment –Based Pilates Exercises in Patients with Chronic Nonspecific Low Back Pain: A Randomised Controlled Trial

M. A da Luz Jr., L. O Pena Costa., F. F Fuhro., C. T Manzoni., N. T. B Oliveira and C. M. N Cabral. 2014 Physical Therapy Journal of the American Physical Therapy Association. [ONLINE] Available at http://ptjournal.apta.org/content/94/5/623.full.pdf. [Accessed 27 May 15]

This study was carried out by a qualified Physiotherapist and Pilates instructor and recruited 86 participants with diagnoses of chronic nonspecific lower back pain. Patients were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups. Group 1 performed the mat based exercise, group 2 performed equipment to exercise. Both groups were again tested for pain and disability at 6 weeks and 6 months.The result of the study the study showed that both groups improved in pain and disability level, however, the group that incorporated equipment into the program improved significantly more than the mat based group at 6 months post treatment.

Part 1 further supports evidence already showing that Pilates is an effective treatment for back pain, however, this is the first study to determine the effectiveness of incorporating equipment into the program.

This approach is fully supported by our specially trained APPI (Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute) physiotherapists providing classes 1:1 or small groups.