The effect of clinical pilates-based physiotherapy program for a Stiff Person Syndrome patient: a case report

Acta Neurol Belg. 2021 Feb;121(1):79-85. doi: 10.1007/s13760-020-01502-3. Epub 2020 Sep 30.


The aim of the present report is to show the effects of a clinical pilates-based physiotherapy training program on physical functioning, including balance ability, flexibility, muscle strength, and pain severity in a case with Stiff Person Syndrome (SPS). A 43-year-old female with a 3-year history of SPS participated in the study. Clinical pilates training exercises were performed two times per week during 8 weeks. Static balance was evaluated with One Leg Stance Test and Tandem Stance Test, dynamic balance with Functional Reach Test and lower extremity strength and endurance measured by 30-s Chair Stand Test. Berg Balance Scale was used to assess balance and fall risk, and Timed Up and Go Test was used to assess functional mobility. Pain evaluation was done by Pain Quality Assessment Scale. Flexibility was measured with tape measure, range of motion with goniometer and muscle strength with manual muscle test. Among the balance and functional mobility tests, progress has been observed in all tests, except for 30-s Chair Stand test. Improvements have been observed in patient's range of motion, flexibility, strength, pain and balance parameters. Clinical pilates-based physiotherapy program had positive effects on many physical and functional parameters of the patient and can be used as a safe exercise method in physiotherapy rehabilitation of SPS.

Keywords: Physiotherapy; Pilates training; Stiff Person Syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise Movement Techniques / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Postural Balance / physiology
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology*
  • Stiff-Person Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Stiff-Person Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Stiff-Person Syndrome / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome