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The Validity of Pilates in the Rehabilitation Setting: Does It Improve Function of Lumbo-pelvic Stabilizing Musculatue?

1 May 2004


Background and purpose. Despite the paucity of research on the effects of Pilates exercise, the recommendations for integrating Pilates into rehabilitation treatment abound. Pilates enthusiasts claim that benefits include decreased low back pain, improved posture and greater core stability throughout the trunk. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of Pilates mat classes on the transverse abdominis (TrA) and lumbar multifidus (LM) muscles.

Methods. A single subject was evaluated in his ability to perform and maintain an abdominal drawing-in maneuver, an action performed by isolated and simultaneous recruitment of TrA and LM pre- and post-Pilates intervention.

Results. There was a significant increase in As the subjeces ability to perform the abdominal drawing-in maneuver in both the prone and supine progression.

Conclusion and Discussion. Pilates intervention was found to be an effective method for improving function of lumbo-pelvic stabilizing musculature in the prone and supine position in our single subject study. Future research is needed to compare Pilates intervention to traditional methods of training lumbo-pelvic stabilizing musculature in both the general population and individuals with low back pain, in order to determine the validity of Pilates in the rehabilitation setting.


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