To investigate the effects of Pilates exercise on improving health-related quality of life in people living with chronic low back pain.
This was a single-blind, randomised clinical trial. Thirty-nine physically active subjects aged between 30 and 70 years with nonspecific chronic low back pain for more than three months were recruited. The study employed a pretest-posttest design, with a 4 -, 8 -, and 26-week follow-up. For eight weeks, the intervention group participated in a group-supervised, mat-based Pilates program, while the control group received the usual pharmacologic and rehabilitation standard of care, including patient education on chronic low back pain. The primary outcome was self-perceived health status measured using the EQ-5D questionnaire in a structured form and a visual analogue scale. Secondary outcomes included intensity of pain and degree of disability.
By the end of the 8-week Pilates program, the intervention group achieved a better health-related quality of life on the EQ-5D visual analogue score than the control group. In assessing the trends in each individual group regarding pain, the intervention group demonstrated an earlier pain reduction than the control group that lasted until the end of the trial.
An 8-week supervised Pilates-based core exercise program is an effective therapeutic modality for improving self-perceived health status in patients with chronic low back pain. This finding could inform clinicians of better alternatives when they suggest exercise interventions for chronic low back pain.

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