J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2011 Aug;41(8):542-52. Epub 2011 Jun 7.
Efficacy of trunk balance exercises for individuals with chronic low back pain: a randomized clinical trial.
Gatti R, Faccendini S, Tettamanti A, Barbero M, Balestri A, Calori G.
STUDY DESIGN: Randomized clinical trial.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the efficacy of trunk balance exercises for individuals with chronic low back pain.
BACKGROUND: The majority of exercises focusing on restoring lumbopelvic stability propose targeting the feedforward control of the lumbopelvic region. Less attention has been paid to feedback control during balance adjustments.
METHODS: Seventy-nine patients were randomly allocated to 2 different groups. The experimental group performed trunk balance exercises in addition to standard trunk flexibility exercises. The control group performed strengthening exercises in addition to the same standard trunk flexibility exercises. The primary outcome measures were pain intensity (visual analogue scale), disability (Roland-Morris Questionnaire), and quality of life (12-Item Short-Form Health Survey). Secondary outcomes were painful positions, use of analgesic drugs, and referred pain. Analysis of variance and relative risk were used to analyze the data for the primary and secondary outcome measures, respectively. The number of participants reaching the minimal clinically important difference in the 2 groups for each outcome measure was compared using relative risk.
RESULTS: A significant difference in scores on the Roland-Morris Questionnaire (P = .011) and the physical component of the 12-Item Short-Form Health Survey (P = .048), and in the number of participants reaching the minimal clinically important difference for the Roland-Morris Questionnaire (relative risk, 1.79; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.05, 3.04) and the secondary outcome of painful positions (relative risk, 1.37; 95% CI: 1.03, 1.83) were found in favor of the experimental treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: Trunk balance exercises combined with flexibility exercises were found to be more effective than a combination of strength and flexibility exercises in reducing disability and improving the physical component of quality of life in patients with chronic low back pain.