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Effects of a Pilates programme in spinal curvatures and hamstring extensibility in adolescents with thoracic hyperkyphosis: a randomised controlled trial
  1. Noelia González-Gálvez1,
  2. Pablo Jorge Marcos-Pardo2,
  3. Mario Albaladejo-Saura1,
  4. Abraham López-Vivancos3,
  5. Raquel Vaquero-Cristóbal1
  1. 1Sports Injury Prevention Research Group (PRELEDE), Universidad Católica de Murcia, Murcia, Spain
  2. 2Department of Education, Faculty of Education Sciences. SPORT Research Group (CTS-1024), CERNEP Research Center, Universidad de Almería, Almeria, Spain
  3. 3Research Group on Health, Physical Activity, Fitness and Motor Behaviour (GISAFFCOM), Universidad Católica de Murcia, Murcia, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Dr Pablo Jorge Marcos-Pardo, Department of Education, Faculty of Education Sciences., SPORT Research Group (CTS-1024), CERNEP Research Center, University of Almería, Almeria, Spain; pjmarcos{at}


Aim To evaluate the effects of a 9-month Pilates exercise programme on the sagittal spinal posture and hamstring extensibility of adolescents with thoracic hyperkyphosis.

Design Randomised controlled trial with blinded examiner.

Patients One-hundred and three adolescents with thoracic hyperkyphosis.

Interventions Participants were randomly placed into an experimental group which participated in a Pilates exercise programme implemented for a total of 38 weeks (two sessions/week, 15 min/session) (Pilates group (PG), sample=49, or control group (CG), sample=48).

Main outcome measures The outcome measures were the thoracic curve in sagittal spinal curvature in relaxed standing, sagittal spinal curvatures and pelvic tilt in relaxed standing and sit-and-reach positions, and hamstring extensibility.

Results There was a significant adjusted mean difference between groups in favour of the PG in the thoracic curve in relaxed standing position (−5.6°, p=0.003), pelvic tilt (−2.9°, p=0.03) and all straight leg tests (p<0.001). The PG showed a significant change in thoracic curve (−5.9, p<0.001) and in lumbar angle (4.0, p=0.001) in relaxed standing position and in all straight leg raise tests (+6.4 to +15°, p<0.0001).

Conclusions The adolescents with thoracic hyperkyphosis from the PG had a decreased thoracic kyphosis in relaxed standing position, and improved hamstring extensibility as compared with the CG. More than 50% of the participants obtained kyphosis values inside normality, showing an adjusted mean difference between groups in the thoracic curve of about 73% of the baseline mean, resulting in a large improvement and high clinical importance.

Trial registration number NCT03831867.

  • thoracic medicine
  • sports medicine
  • rehabilitation medicine

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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  • Contributors NG-G planned the study. NG-G, PJM-P and RV-C planned the methodology, conducted the research and reported the work described in the article. MA-S and AL-V prepared the assessment and performed the data curation. All authors read and agreed on the published version of the manuscripts. NG-G acting as guarantor.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.