Pilates-based exercise in the reduction of the low back pain: an overview of reviews

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2022 Jul;26(13):4557-4563. doi: 10.26355/eurrev_202207_29176.


Objective: Pilates is a popular system of exercise that is recommended for healthy individuals and patients with low back pain (LBP). The restoration of muscle function in lumbopelvic stability and pelvic floor muscles has been fostered by practices based on this strategy. Restoring or sustaining the motor control of the lumbar spine and proper body posture during each exercise is very important. The aim of this umbrella review (UR) of systematic reviews and narrative reviews is to detect the effects of exercise on patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP).

Materials and methods: Records were published in December 2019 and identified from Web of Science, PubMed, and Scopus. Studies that addressed this topic were included. The protocol was registered on PROSPERO (246510).

Results: The Pilates method, using functional exercises, improves muscular strength and endurance. Eleven studies were included in the UR. Nine reviews for chronic LBP concluded that there were pain relief and functional progression from the Pilates-based exercise intervention in the short-term. There was strong evidence that Pilates exercise improved flexibility and dynamic balance and enhanced muscular endurance among healthy people in the short-term.

Conclusions: Pilates exercise improved dynamic balance and flexibility also raised muscular endurance in people in the short time. There was some evidence that admits this exercise as effective in body fat reduction and increasing fat-free mass in the short-term.

MeSH terms

  • Exercise Movement Techniques* / methods
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain* / therapy
  • Muscle Strength
  • Systematic Reviews as Topic