The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke list low-back pain as the most common cause of job-related disability in the United States. Recent research supports the effectiveness of Pilates exercises for low-back pain.
According to a report published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, participants who practiced Pilates over a 4-week period experienced more relief from their low back pain than those who went through typical treatment programs.
A further study by Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario was undertaken to decide whether Pilates exercises were effective in improving the conditions of low-back pain patients. The investigators randomly assigned 39 active adults ages 20 – 55 with chronic low-back pain to either a Pilates training group or a control group. The experimental group exercised on Pilates equipment, while the control group received the usual care provided to individuals seeking medical help for low-back pain.
Post-testing revealed that the Pilates participants had significantly lower levels of functional disability and pain intensity than the control subjects. A year later, the Pilates participants had maintained their physical improvements.