Paul W.M. Marshall and Bernadette A. Murphy
The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate deficits in patients with low back pain (LBP) over the course of a 12-week rehabilitation program using the Swiss ball. Twenty patients with chronic nonspecific LBP performed 12 weeks of progressive exercise using a Swiss ball. Outcome measures were assessed at baseline, 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks, and at a 3-month follow-up. The results show that the Oswestry score for self-reported disability significantly decreased over the intervention. Significant improvements in pain and disability maintained to the 3 months of follow-up. There were significant changes in perceptions of physical and mental well-being, erector spinae fatigue, and flexion relaxation measures. Change in flexion relaxation explained 38% of the improvement in Oswestry scores at the 12-week measurement. The authors concluded that the Swiss ball may be successfully used in a rehabilitation context for patients with LBP.
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Volume 29, Issue 7,