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Pilates and Low Back Pain

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Pilates is an exercise method that aims to strengthen and help the stability of the human frame.  It was originally conceived by Joseph Pilates, a physical-culturist born in Monchengladbach, Germany in 1883.  Blair and Chapman Chiropractic is affiliated with a well-qualified Pilates instructor locally in Robina.

Whilst people initially used Pilates for strength, muscle tone and flexibility, there were some that noticed they also experienced relief from their low back pain.  This then led to Pilates being recommended as a treatment method for this type of pain.  A problem arose when it was realised that some people gained great low back pain relief, but others had no benefit at all.  The Chiropractors at Blair and Chapman Chiropractic are interested in recommending treatments that will help their patients recover quickly and completely so they rely on research a great deal.

Thankfully, the most recent research published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy has explained which low back pain patients are likely to gain benefit from using Pilates, and importantly are which are not.

The researchers found that if a patient exhibited some specific traits they were much more likely to get better using Pilates.  These variable traits are as follows;

  • Limited ability to bend forward using the trunk
  • Less than six months pain
  • No leg pain for one week prior
  • Body mass index of 25 or greater
  • Good hip movement

On average if Pilates is trialled by a low back pain patient, only 54% will obtain a benefit.  This research found that when a patient has three (3) or more out of the five (5) traits, their benefit percentage rises to 93%.

Our Chiropractors at Blair and Chapman Chiropractic in Robina are qualified to perform these trait assessments and will advise you if Pilates needs to be part of your low back pain treatment program.

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