A Comparative Study of the Efficacy of Pilates and Acupuncture

Chronic low back pain is the diagnosis for individuals who have been suffering from acute back pain but have not showed any signs of improving.

In a manner of speaking, chronic low back pain occurs when an individual’s acute back pain has reached the duration of 91 days without improvement (Bogduk & McGuirk, 2002). Chronic low back pain has various treatments, and this research aims to determine which is appropriate.

According to Colleen Craig (2001), pilates exercises abdominal muscles, and one of these abdominal muscles, if properly attended to, can prevent chronic low back pain. Acupuncture, on the other hand, is also used for the treatment of low back pain (Liao, Lee, & Ng, 1994).
Problem Statement and Hypothesis
This study intends to determine whether or not pilates and acupuncture produce better results than that of traditional lumbar stabilization exercises for the treatment of chronic low back pain. The hypothesis of this research is that alternative methods, such as pilates and acupuncture, are superior over the traditional lumbar stabilization exercises in treating chronic low back pain.
Assumption
For this research, it is assumed that pilates and acupuncture produce better results than that of the traditional lumbar stabilization exercises when it comes to treating patients with chronic low back pain.
Purpose and Significance
This study aims to compare other modes of therapy to the traditional lumbar stabilization exercises and to determine whether other modes of therapy, specifically pilates and acupuncture, can help improve the conditions of patients who have chronic low back pain.
The significance of the study is that it can provide information about which physical therapy is appropriate for individuals who have chronic low back pain. New information about various treatments can help enhance physical therapy and produce better results.
Nature of Study and Theoretical Framework
An integration of quantitative and qualitative methods will be conducted throughout the course of the study. The use of quantitative methods is vital for these will determine the empirical data that will contribute to the accuracy of the study. On the other hand, through the use of qualitative methods, the study will be able to provide insight on what the patients think of the aforementioned treatments.
Research Questions
This study aims to address the following:
Which treatment is more effective in the treatment of chronic low back pain? Why is the treatment more effective than the other treatments?
What are the pros and cons of alternative treatments for chronic low back pain?  Definition of Terms
Chronic back pain – the condition wherein the individual has been suffering from acute back pain and has not shown any signs of improving after the duration of 91 days (Bogduk & McGuirk, 2002).
Pilates – a “system of exercises” (Breibart, 2005, p. 3) that helps to stretch and strengthen the body as well as improve its posture and tone (Breibart, 2005).
Acupuncture – the insertion of “hair-fine needles” (Tierney, 1999, p. 1) into certain areas of the body in order to stimulate the healing capacity of the individual’s body (Tierney, 1999).

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