17 July 2013
People with chronic low back pain may benefit from doing Pilates exercises, a new study has shown.
Researchers at the University of Western Sydney in Australia recruited 64 volunteers with low back pain and divided them into two groups.
The first group performed specific trunk exercises for eight weeks, while the second used a cycling machine for the same period of time.
They were then followed up for six months to see whether there were any differences between the two groups.
Analysis revealed that levels of disability and pain were significantly lower in the Pilates group than in the cycling group after eight weeks.
Those who did Pilates also benefited from a significant reduction in fear-avoidance beliefs, which is important as avoidant behaviour can lead people to move about less and may exacerbate their condition.
However, there was little difference between the two groups after six months, showing that both approaches are effective at alleviating low back pain.
Publishing their findings in the journal Spine, the study authors concluded: "If a patient with low back pain adheres to either specific trunk exercises or stationary cycling, it is reasonable to think that similar improvements will be achieved."
Posted by Jeanette Royston
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