Skip Navigation LinksHome > July 01, 2013 - Volume 38 - Issue 15 > Pilates Exercise or Stationary Cycling for Chronic Nonspecif...
doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e318297c1e5
Exercise Physiology/Functional Restoration

Pilates Exercise or Stationary Cycling for Chronic Nonspecific Low Back Pain: Does it Matter? A Randomized Controlled Trial With 6-Month Follow-up

Marshall, Paul W. M. PhD; Kennedy, Suzanne BHSc; Brooks, Cristy BHSc; Lonsdale, Chris PhD

Collapse Box


Study Design. Randomized controlled trial.

Objective. This is the companion study to a previous publication that presented 8-week pain, disability, and trunk muscle motor control results. The objective of this study was to compare the effect of 8 weeks of specific trunk exercises and stationary cycling on outcomes measures of catastrophizing and fear-avoidance beliefs (FAB) in patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain, and provide 6-month outcome data for all self-report measures.

Summary of Background Data. It is thought that any form of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity is sufficient to address catastrophizing and FAB, and concomitant levels of pain and disability.

Methods. Sixty-four patients with low back pain were randomly assigned to 8 weeks of specific trunk exercise group (SEG), or stationary cycling group (CEG). Self-rated pain, disability, catastrophizing and FAB scores were collected before, immediately after (8 wk), and 6 months after the training program. Clinically meaningful improvements were defined as greater than a 30% reduction from baseline in pain and disability scores. “Intention-to-treat” principles were used for missing data. Per-protocol analysis was performed on participants who attended at least two-thirds of the exercise sessions.

Results. At 8 weeks, disability was significantly lower in the SEG compared with the CEG (d = 0.62, P = 0.018). Pain was reduced from baseline in both the groups after training (P < 0.05), but was lower for the SEG (P < 0.05). FAB scores were reduced in the SEG at 8 weeks, and in the CEG at 6 months. No between-group differences in FAB scores were observed. Similar reductions in catastrophizing in each group were observed at each time point. At 6 months, the overall data pattern suggested no long-term difference between groups. Per-protocol analysis of clinically meaningful improvements suggests no between-group differences for how many patients are likely to report improvement.

Conclusion. Inferential statistics suggest greater improvements at 8 weeks, but not 6 months, for the SEG. Inspection of clinically meaningful changes based on a minimum level of adherence suggests no between-group differences. If a patient with low back pain adheres to either specific trunk exercises or stationary cycling, it is reasonable to think that similar improvements will be achieved.

Level of Evidence: 2

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Follow Us!



Article Level Metrics

Search for Similar Articles
You may search for similar articles that contain these same keywords or you may modify the keyword list to augment your search.