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Pilates and Low Back Pain – The Evidence

The evidence-based effect of Clinical Pilates into the treatment of lower back pain has been a hot topic in the last few years.  Poor motor control (both over and under activity) as well as inadequate or excessive mobility leads to a muscle imbalance , injury and/or associated pain.  

The latest research supports the use of pilates exercises, designed to train the activation and control of specific stabilising muscles of the lumbar-pelvic region, for management of lower back and spinal pathologies.  After a 12 month follow-up period, this has shown to be effective in the reduction of back related pain.

Subsequently there has been a movement forward from the traditional strength training towards motor control and pilates based exercises for managing lower back pain.

The physiotherapists at Bend + Mend have recently been involved in an ongoing study on the effects of pilates in chronic lower back pain subjects.  This new evidence will provide clinicians with a better evidence based practice and understanding of the role of pilates in rehabilitation setting.


Rydeard R, Leger A, Smith D. (2006) Pilates-based therapeutic exercise: effect on subjects with nonspecific chronic low back pain and functional disability: a randomized controlled trial.  Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy (36 [7], 472-84)

Bend + Mend

Bend + Mend has been providing Sydney’s CBD with Physiotherapy and Pilates services since 2003. We have 4 great locations in Martin Place, Barangaroo, Darling Park and Circular Quay, all with private rooms and specialised one-on-one care. We also have Sydney CBD’s best-loved Physios who have helped over 10,000 people recover from pain and injury.

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