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Eura Medicophys. 2006 Sep;42(3):205-10.

Two different techniques in the rehabilitation treatment of low back pain: a randomized controlled trial.

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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, G. Pini Orthopedic Institute, via S. Pellico 43, 20021 Bollate, Milan, Italy.



The Back School is a widely accepted and effective method for treating low back pain, whereas no scientific evidence exists about the effects of the Pilates CovaTech method. With this study we wanted to evaluate the efficacy of this new method in patients with low back pain.


Fifty-three patients with at least 3 months of nonspecific low back pain were entered into a Pilates therapy or a Back School treatment group, 43 of which completed the study. Small exercise groups of 7 patients each followed a daily kinesitherapy protocol for 10 days. Evaluations were performed at the start of the study and then at 1, 3 and 6 months after the beginning of treatment. We used the Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Scale (OLBPDQ) to assess disability and the visual analog scale (VAS) to evaluate pain.


Demographic and baseline clinical characteristics were similar for both groups. A significant reduction in pain intensity and disability was observed across the entire sample. The Pilates method group showed better compliance and subjective response to treatment.


The results obtained with the Pilates method were comparable to those achieved with the Back School method, suggesting its use as an alternative approach to the treatment of non specific low back pain.

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