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J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2012;25(3):149-55. doi: 10.3233/BMR-2012-0321.

The effects of stabilizing exercises on pain and disability of patients with lumbar segmental instability.

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Department of Physiotherapy, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Iran.



Lumbar segmental instability (LSI) is one of the subgroups of non-specific chronic low back pain. Pain, functional disability and reduced muscle endurance are common in such patients.


The aim of this study was to determine the effects of stabilization exercise on pain, functional disability and muscle endurance in patients with LSI.


A randomized clinical trial was carried out on 30 patients who had LSI aged between 18-45 years. They were divided into two groups; the control group underwent routine exercise only while the experimental group performed routine exercise plus stabilization training for 8 weeks. Both had 3 months follow-up. The variables included pain intensity, functional disability and flexion and extension range of motion and flexor, extensor and lateral flexor muscles endurance which were evaluated 3 times; before, post treatment and after three months. The data were analyzed using repeated measurement ANOVA.


The results revealed that after treatment, the trunk muscle endurance and flexion range of motion increased significantly and the pain intensity and functional disability decreased significantly in both groups; however the rate of improvement was significantly higher in the experimental group. The process of decreasing pain intensity and functional disability in addition to increasing muscle endurance time %was were significantly faster in the experimental group during the three months follow up.


Regarding the positive effects of stabilizing exercises with routine exercises in reduction of pain intensity, increasing functional ability and muscle endurance, it is recommended to use this method in treatment of patients with lumbar segmental instability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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