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J Man Manip Ther. 2010 Mar;18(1):9-14. doi: 10.1179/106698110X12595770849443.

Lumbar instability: an evolving and challenging concept.

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University of Virginia-HEALTHSOUTH, USA.


Identification and management of chronic lumbar spine instability is a clinical challenge for manual physical therapists. Chronic lumbar instability is presented as a term that can encompass two types of lumbar instability: mechanical (radiographic) and functional (clinical) instability (FLI). The components of mechanical and FLI are presented relative to the development of a physical therapy diagnosis and management. The purpose of this paper is to review the historical framework of chronic lumbar spine instability from a physical therapy perspective and to summarize current research relative to clinical diagnosis in physical therapy.


Diagnosis; Hypermobility; Low back pain; Physical examination; Segmental instability

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