Public health

Pilates for back pain in doubt: Cochrane

While there is some evidence to suggest Pilates is effective for low back pain it is not superior to other forms of exercise, a Cochrane review concludes.

The review of 10 studies and 510 people with chronic non-specific low back pain found low to moderate quality evidence that Pilates was more effective than minimal intervention for pain and disability.

However Pilates was probably not more effective than other exercises for pain and disability in the short and intermediate term, the Cochrane Back Group concluded.

For function, other exercises were more effective than Pilates at intermediate-term follow-up, but not at short-term follow-up.

“While there is some evidence for the effectiveness of Pilates for low back pain, there is no conclusive evidence that it is superior to other forms of exercises,” they concluded.

“The decision to use Pilates for low back pain may be based on the patient’s or care provider’s preferences, and costs,” they added. 

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