Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Different Weekly Frequencies of Pilates for Chronic Low Back Pain: Randomized Controlled Trial.

The Pilates method has been recommended to patients with low back pain, but the evidence on effectiveness is inconclusive. In addition, there is still no evidence for the cost-effectiveness of this method or for the ideal number of sessions to achieve the highest effectiveness. The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the Pilates method with different weekly frequencies in the treatment of patients with nonspecific low back pain. This was an RCT based in Brazil. Two hundred ninety-six patients with nonspecific low back pain between the ages of 18 and 80 years will be assessed and randomly allocated to 4 groups (n=74 patients per group). All groups received an educational booklet and the booklet group did not receive additional exercises. Pilates group 1 followed a Pilates-based program once a week, Pilates group 2 followed the same program twice a week, and Pilates group 3 followed the same program 3 times a week. The intervention lasted 6 weeks. A blinded assessor evaluated pain, quality-adjusted life-years, general and specific disability, kinesiophobia, pain catastrophizing, and global perceived effect 6 weeks, 6 months, and 12 months after randomization.

This was the first study to investigate different weekly frequencies of treatment sessions for nonspecific low back pain. The results of this study will contribute to a better definition of treatment programs for this population.