Comparing core stability and traditional trunk exercise on chronic low back pain patients using three functional lumbopelvic stability tests

There is debate over whether core stability exercise is preferred to other types of exercise for chronic low back pain. Lumbopelvic stability is an important element in low back pain. There weren’t any studies found using lumbopelvic stability tests in comparing core stability and other exercises. The single leg squat, dip test, and runner pose test appear to be suitable as tests for lumbopelvic stability. The aim of this study was to compare “core stability” and “traditional trunk exercise” using these tests and also the Oswestry disability questionnaire and pain intensity. Twenty-nine non-specific chronic low back pain subjects were alternately allocated in one of the two exercise groups. For both groups, a 16-sessions exercise program was provided. Before and after training: (1) video was recorded while subjects performed the tests; (2) Oswestry disability questionnaire was completed; and (3) pain intensity was measured by visual analogue scale. The test videos were scored by three physiotherapists. Statistical analysis showed a significant improvement in stability test scores (p = 0.020 and p = 0.041) and reduction in disability (p < 0.001) and pain (p < 0.001) within each group. No significant difference was seen between two groups in the three outcomes p = 0.41, p = 0.14, and p = 0.72. Insignificant differences between the two groups could suggest either non-specificity of CSE to increase lumbopelvic stability or equal effectiveness of TTE and CSE on improving LPS. The non-significant differences may also be attributable to the lack of sensitivity of our tests to assess stability change in two groups following training given the relatively small sample size.

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