Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Effects of a Pilates programme in spinal curvatures and hamstring extensibility in adolescents with thoracic hyperkyphosis: a randomised controlled trial


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.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.