Effectiveness of spinal stabilization exercises on movement performance in adults with subacute and chronic low back pain: A randomized clinical trial
Background: The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of spinal stabilization exercises (SSEs) on movement performance and reductions in pain intensity and disability level in adults with subacute and chronic low back pain (CLBP). Methods: Forty participants (20 in each group) with CLBP were recruited and randomly allocated into one of two interventions: spinal stabilization exercises (SSEs) and general exercises (GEs). All participants received their assigned intervention under supervision one to two times per week for the first four weeks, and then were asked to continue their exercise program at home for another four weeks. Outcome measures were collected at baseline, two weeks, four weeks and eight weeks, including the Functional Movement Screen (FMS), Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NPRS), and Modified Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Questionnaire (OSW) scores. Three separate 2 (group) x 4 (time) repeated measure (RM) ANOVAs were used to analyze the collected data for each of the three outcome measures. Post hoc analysis was performed when there was a significant interaction. The α level was set at 0.05 for all statistical analyses. Results: The ANOVA results revealed a significant interaction for the FMS scores (p = 0.016), but not for the NPRS and OSW scores. Post hoc analysis showed significant between-group differences between baseline and four weeks (p = 0.005) and between baseline and eight weeks (p = 0.026). Further, the results demonstrated that all participants, regardless of group, had significant improvements in movement performance, pain intensity and disability level over time. Conclusion: The results of the study favor SSEs over GEs in improving movement performance for individuals with CLBP, specifically after 4 weeks of the supervised SSE program. The results may provide clinicians with further evidence for the use of SSEs in the management of patients with CLBP.