Yoga and pilates in the management of low back pain
Many interventions for the management of low back pain exist, however most have modest efficacy at best, and there are few with clearly demonstrated benefits once pain becomes chronic. Therapeutic exercise, on the other hand, does appear to have significant benefits for managing patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP) in terms of decreasing pain and improving function. In addition, because chronic pain is complex and does not fit a simple model, there have also been numerous trials investigating and demonstrating the efficacy of multidisciplinary pain programs for CLBP. It follows that interventions that treat more than one aspect of LBP would have significant benefits for this patient population. Yoga and Pilates which have, both been gaining in popularity over the last decade are two mind–body exercise interventions that address both the physical and mental aspects of pain with core strengthening, flexibility, and relaxation. There has been a slow evolution of these nontraditional exercise regimens into treatment paradigms for LBP, although few studies examining their effects have been published. The following article will focus on the scientific and theoretical basis of using yoga and Pilates in the management of CLBP.