Swiss ball enhances lumbar multifidus activity in chronic low back pain.

This study investigated the effects of sitting surfaces on the cross-sectional area of lumbar multifidus (LM) in patients with Chronic Low Back Pain (CLBP) and healthy controls (HC). 40 age and sex matched, sporting participants aged 18-45 years, recruited from private physiotherapy practice patients (n=20 CLBP, 16 male, 4 female, and n=20 healthy controls, 16 males and 4 females) took part in the study. Swiss Ball (SB) was more effective at stimulating LM than a Stable Surface (SS) in both groups: CLBP:SB:12.3(cm(2)) (SD:3.6), SS:10.15 (SD:2.6), p<0.0001; HC:SB:12.5 (SD:2.7), SS:11.3 (SD:2.9), p<0.0001). There weren't any significant differences between groups to note. No differences between left and right side cross-sectional areas between or within groups were noted.

Cross-sectional area of LM increased as the lability of the surface increased, showing that SB was more effective at stimulating LM activity than a non-labile surface. This confirms current clinical practice and supports the use of a labile surface in spinal rehabilitation. The lack of LM asymmetry within and between groups is discussed.

Neck Pain

Out of all 291 conditions studied in the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study, neck pain ranked 4th highest in terms of disability and 21st in terms of overall burden.

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