Pilates exercise offers greater short term improvements in pain and movement than other physical activities, according to an international research review.

A review of more than 152 studies, titled The Effectiveness of Pilates Exercise in People with Chronic Low Back Pain, found Pilates provided equivalent improvements to other forms of physical exercise.

Back In Motion Health Group, Founder and Group Director, Jason Smith said the review showed that Pilates exercise resulted in statistically significant improvements in pain and functional ability in the short term compared to usual care and physical activity in people with chronic lower back pain.

“Chronic low back pain (CLBP) for more than twelve weeks is very common and can be debilitating,” Mr Smith said.

Physiotherapists regularly prescribe Clinical Pilates exercise for clients with chronic lower back pain and we see impressive results. This review supports the role of exercise in recovery from back pain.

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“Pilates promotes core stability, strength, posture, controlled movement and flexibility which are all beneficial for people who are suffering from lower back pain or are beginning to show signs of developing lower back pain later in life.

Pilates is particularly good for those at risk of or suffering from lower back pain as it is designed to strengthen the deep abdominal and pelvic floor muscles.

The type of exercises and the level of difficulty prescribed can be modified according to the individual’s circumstances,” Mr Smith said.

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The research review suggested that supervised Pilates exercise sessions should be undertaken 2-3 times per week for 3-6 months, and be supplemented by home exercises.

The research reviewed suggested that the benefits of Pilates exercise are more likely to be short- to medium-term, and that depending on the patient, Pilates exercise would be more suitable and effective for some than others

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