Skip to main content

Table 1 Description of the interventions

From: Effectiveness of the Pilates method versus aerobic exercises in the treatment of older adults with chronic low back pain: a randomized controlled trial protocol

Group Description
Pilates The Pilates Group will undergo a specific exercise program including modified [38] mat-based and equipment-based Pilates exercises. In the first session, participants will receive basic training on the Pilates method and power house activation, which is the isometric contraction of the transverse abdominis, multifidus, and pelvic floor muscles during expiration [12, 44]. Power house activation will always be combined with the exercises in order to stabilize low back. The session will be divided into: warm-up and global stretching (5 min), exercises for the upper and lower limbs, abdomen, and spine (45 min), global stretching (5 min), and relaxing local massage (5 min). There will be a minimum of five exercises and a maximum of 15 exercises in each session. Each exercise will be selected individually, according to the objective of the treatment and preference of the patient and adapted if patient’s pain worsens. For example, if the objective of the treatment is to strengthen gluteus muscles and patient cannot get into a desired position or feels pain, the exercise will be adapted to another position or equipment without changing its objective. The exercises will be modified so that they can be performed at three levels of difficulty: basic, intermediate, and advanced (Additional file 1: Appendix 1 and Additional file 2: Appendix 2). In the first session, the patients will perform the basic exercises. The progress to a new level of difficulty will occur whenever postural compensations decrease, and the patient can perform eight to 10 repetitions easily and without pain.
Aerobic The Aerobic Group will be submitted to a global stretching program (lower limbs, upper limbs, and spine with two repetitions and maintenance of each stretch for 30 s in each segment [45]) for a total of 10 min, walking on the treadmill for 20 to 40 min (intensity will be increased according to individual ability and report of pain), and relaxation with local massage for 5 minutes [7]. Training intensity will be based on the combination of heart rate (based on the maximum heart rate percentage: 208 - (0.7 x age)) [46] and the rate of perceived exertion assessed through the Borg scale [47]. A percentage of 50 to 75% of the maximum heart rate and levels between 12 and 13 (moderate intensity) of the Borg scale will be used [48].