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Int J Rehabil Res. 2012 Dec;35(4):360-6. doi: 10.1097/MRR.0b013e328356427c.

The efficacy of a perceptive rehabilitation on postural control in patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain.

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Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Policlinico Umberto I, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.


Patients with chronic low back pain have a worse posture, probably related to poor control of the back muscles and altered perception of the trunk midline. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a perceptive rehabilitation in terms of stability and pain relief in patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain. Thirty patients were enrolled and randomized into two groups: 15 patients received rehabilitation, on the basis of a specific tool to perform perceptive exercises [perceptive group (PG)], and 15 patients received a back school programme [back school group (BG)]. Both groups were assessed using stabilometry and the McGill Pain Questionnaire before and at the end of treatment. For the reference values of stabilometric parameters, 15 healthy individuals were enrolled. Significant reductions in sway length (P=0.019) and laterolateral sway velocity (P=0.038) were observed in the PG. The anteroposterior sway velocity was reduced in both the groups, but significantly only for BG (P=0.048). The percentage of sway length reduction was inversely and significantly correlated with the initial sway length value for PG (R=-0.708, P=0.003), but not for BG (R=-0.321, P=0.243). In the PG, the sagittal arrows and bi-acromial and bi-spinoiliac lines' angles were all significantly reduced. General pain relief was reported after treatment, without a significant difference (P=0.436). Our results suggest that a perceptive rehabilitation can improve the postural stability for the realignment of the trunk, controlling the back pain. The use of cognitive exercises may strengthen the usual rehabilitation of low back pain, avoiding the recurrence of symptoms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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