The objective of this study was to identify the effect of a novel augmented core stabilization exercise technique on physical function, pain and core stability in patients with chronic low back pain. A block randomized controlled trial with two groups was conducted at a sports rehabilitation clinic. Forty patients with low back pain (20 experimental, mean (SD) age 50.35 (9.26) years and 20 control, 51.30 (7.01)), 19 men and 21 women participated in the study. In the experimental group ankle dorsiflexion was employed as well as drawing in the abdominal wall; the control group involved drawing in the abdominal wall alone. Both groups received the same conventional physical therapy training three days per week for eight weeks. Physical disability instruments; Oswestry Disability Index and Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire; pain intensity assessments; visual analogue scale, Pain Disability Index, and a pain rating scale; and core stability measures, like the active straight leg raise, were determined prior to the test, following the test and at two-month follow-up. After the intervention, the experimental group showed significant greater improvement at two months compared with the control group. Physical disability results included Oswestry Disability Index (P = 0.001, from 24.25 (7.08) to 13.35 (4.17)) and Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire (P = 0.001, from 15.55 (1.99) to 8.15 (1.69)), pain intensity including visual analogue scale (P = 0.001, from 6.30 (1.03) to 3.35 (0.59)), Pain Disability Index (P = 0.001, 31.25 (5.44) to 19.00 (3.58)) and pain rating scale (P = 0.001, from 72.25 (18.73) to 50.10 (15.47)), and the core stability test such as active straight leg raise (P = 0.001, from 7.40 (0.75) to 2.15 (0.49)).
This study provided the clinical evidence that adding ankle dorsiflexion to drawing in the abdominal wall gave greater benefit in terms of physical disability, pain and core stability in individuals with chronic low back pain.