The Pilates® Method in the treatment of lower back pain

Marcelo Henrique Oliveira de Vasconcello, Ramon Diego Santana da Silva, Sheila Maria Bispo dos Santos, José Reynaldo de Carvalho Merlo, Tatiana Maíta Alves Conceição

Resumo


Introduction: The Pilates® method incorporates a number of the guidelines recommended for therapeutic exercises considered to be effective in the treatment of chronic lower back pain, such as the contraction of the transversus abdominis and multifidus muscles, associated with breathing, while taking into account the individual characteristics of patients. Objective: To assess the effects of the Pilates® method on the treatment of lower back pain. Method: This systematic review includes papers published from 2000 to 2010 in the BIREME, LILACS, MEDLINE and SciELO databases. The keywords used were spinal stabilization, Pilates®, and back pain and their equivalents in Portuguese. Results: Imbalance among the trunk’s agonist-antagonist muscles and the ineffective activation of the transversus abdominis are risk factors for the onset of lower back pain that can be mitigated with the practice of Pilates®-based exercises. Conclusion: The method has clinical effects similar to those obtained with traditional stabilization exercises and Back School exercises in the treatment of chronic lower back pain and are considered more satisfactory than conservative treatments.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0103-5150.027.003.AR01

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