Pilates Cadillac for Chronic Low Back Pain: A Pilot Study

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Dana D. Stieglitz, RN, DNP, FNP-BC
Dana Stieglitz, Roseville, CA, USA


Musculoskeletal health problems such as low back pain contribute significantly to morbidity in the general population and contribute to the high costs of health care in the industrialized world. Pilates is an evidence-based form of therapeutic exercise found to improve low back pain and is underutilized in the healthcare setting.


The purpose of this pilot study is to investigate the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of Pilates exercise on the Cadillac exercise machine as a therapeutic intervention for chronic low back pain and disability. 


The study was quasi-experimental one-group pre test post test pilot study evaluating the effectiveness of a Pilates protocol using the Cadillac exercise machine to decrease levels of pain, and increase function. Data were extracted from a SPSS analysis of a pain visual analog scale (VAS) and Oswestry disability index (ODI).


The results indicate that the Pilates intervention was effective for reducing pain and improving function. VAS before the intervention were M = 41.83 ± 13.12 and after the intervention were M = 11.08 ± 19.49. The mean difference calculated was 30.75 ± 20.27, CI = 43.63, 17.87, p < 0001. ODI scores before the intervention were M = 23.83 ± 16.57 and after the intervention M = 12.58 ± 12.29, respectively. The mean difference calculated from the paired t test from before and after the intervention was 11.25 ± 13.20, CI =19.64, -2.86, P < .02.


The results of this study will inform clinical practice recommendations and direct subsequent research.