[BACKGROUND] Current research on genu varum shows the favorable influence of exercise on the biomechanics of the knee joint by reducing the static malalignment and mechanical imbalances, however the transference to a more optimum gait has not been investigated. [OBJECTIVES] To investigate the effects of Pilates exercise on the changes of gait and lower limb malalignment in female students with genu varum. [METHODS] A total of 23 female college students with verified genu varum participated in this study. The participants were randomly assigned to two groups a Pilates exercise group (n=15) and a control group (n=8). The Pilates exercise group participated in 1 hour Pilates exercise 3 times per week for a total of 10 weeks. Each of the participants had an X-ray and performed gait 5 times before and after the exercise treatment. The participants kinetic and kinematic data were gathered using an eight Vicon Motion camera system and two force platforms. [RESULTS] For the Pilates group gait their maximum extension and internal rotation knee moment, and maximum adduction and internal rotation hip moment significantly increased, while the maximum knee moment flexion decreased. For the control group gait their maximum hip extension and hip adduction moment significantly decreased. For the Pilates group there was a significant reduction in the distance from the anatomical axis to the weight bearing line in the left leg, but there was no significant change for the control group. [CONCLUSIONS] The results suggest that Pilates exercise may be beneficial for females with genu varum by helping to improve both their static alignment and helping their gait to become more balanced.
Conflicts of Interest