Turkish Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2012 , Vol 58 , Num 3

Lumbar Stabilization Exercises in Addition to Strengthening and Stretching Exercises Reduce Pain and Increase Function in Patients With Chronic Low Back Pain: Randomized Clinical Open-Label Study

Anita Stankovic 1 ,Milica Lazovic 2 ,Mirjana Kocic 1 ,Lidija Dimitrijevic 1 ,Ivona Stankovic 1 ,Dragan Zlatanovic 1 ,Irena Dimitrijevic 3
1 Clinic for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Clinical Center Nis, Nis, Serbia
2 Institute for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sokobanjska, Belgrade, Serbia
3 Institute for Rehabilitation Niska Banja, Niska Banja, Serbia
DOI : 10.4274/tftr.22438

Objective: Lumbar stabilization exercises aim to activate and strengthen the deep abdominal and back muscles. Exercise program presented in this study combines activation of specific lumbar stabilizing muscles with traditional strengthening and stretching exercises. The main goal of this study was to establish the effect of stabilization exercises on pain reduction and improving functionality in patients with Chronic Low Back Pain (CLBP).


Materials and Methods: This prospective randomized clinical study was conducted in the Clinical Center Nis, from January 2007 until March 2009. 160 patients with CLBP were eligible and met the inclusion criteria. The study group (S; n=100) had specific lumbar stabilization exercises, while the patients in the control group (C; n=60) performed traditional program for CLBP, based on the strengthening and stretching of the large, superficial back muscles. For monitoring the patients, the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and Short-form 36 (SF-36) were used.


Results: After the therapy, pain was successfully reduced in both groups with higher statistical significance in the study group (p<0.001). Improvement in ODI score was statistically more significant in the study group compared to the control group (p<0.001).


Conclusion: Stabilization exercises in addition to the traditional programs are proven to be effective in pain reduction and functional improvement in patients with CLBP. 

Keywords : Low back pain; exercise therapy; treatment outcome