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J Exerc Rehabil. 2017 Aug 29;13(4):486-490. doi: 10.12965/jer.1735030.515. eCollection 2017 Aug.

Effects of proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation-based abdominal muscle strengthening training on pulmonary function, pain, and functional disability index in chronic low back pain patients.

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Department of Physical Therapy, Graduate School, Sahmyook University, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Social Physical Education, Wonkwang University, Iksan, Korea.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of abdominal muscle strengthening training (AMST) using proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) on pulmonary function, pain, and functional disability index in chronic low back pain (CLBP) patients. Thirty CLBP patients were randomly assigned to the traditional physical therapy (control) group (n=15) and PNF-AMST group (n=15). Forced expiratory volume at 1 second (FEV1) was measured to measure changes in pulmonary function. To measure the degree of pain, a visual analog scale (VAS) was used. The Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) was used to assess the disability level due to low back pain. A paired t-test was performed to compare differences within the groups before and after intervention. An independent t-test was performed to compare differences between the test and control groups. The level of significance was set at α=0.05. Within-group changes in FEV1 were significantly different in the experimental group (P<0.01), and those in VAS and ODI were significantly different in both groups (both P<0.01). The improvements in FEV1, VAS, and ODI were significantly greater in the experimental group than in the control group (P<0.01). This study showed that AMST using PNF was effective in enhancing pulmonary function and decreasing pain and functional disability index inpatients with CLBP. We expect it to be useful as one of the programs for CLBP patients in the future.


Low back pain; Oswestry Disability Index; Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation; Pulmonary function; Visual analog scale

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICT OF INTEREST No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

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