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Asian Spine J. 2018 Jun;12(3):490-502. doi: 10.4184/asj.2018.12.3.490. Epub 2018 Jun 4.

The Role of a Multi-Step Core Stability Exercise Program in the Treatment of Nurses with Chronic Low Back Pain: A Single-Blinded Randomized Controlled Trial.

Author information

1
Sports Medicine Research Center, Neuroscience Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
2
Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
3
Spine Division, Noorafshar Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine Hospital, Tehran, Iran.
4
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN:

Single-blinded randomized controlled trial.

PURPOSE:

To evaluate the effects of a multi-step core stability exercise program in nurses with chronic low back pain (CLBP).

OVERVIEW OF LITERATURE:

CLBP is a common disorder among nurses. Considering that patient-handling activities predispose nurses to CLBP, core stability exercises suggested for managing CLBP in the general population may also be helpful in nurses. However, sufficient evidence is not available on whether a multi-step core stability exercise program affects pain, disability, quality of life, and the diameter of lateral abdominal muscles in nurses with CLBP.

METHODS:

In this single-blinded randomized controlled trial, 36 female nurses with CLBP were recruited. The sample was divided into two groups of 18 patients (intervention and control). Nurses in the intervention group performed core stability exercises for 8 weeks, based on a progressive pattern over time. Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire (RDQ), quality of life (36-item Short Form Health Survey [SF-36]), ultrasound assessment of the diameter of lateral abdominal muscles, and Visual Analog Scale (VAS) score for pain were evaluated in the participants before and after the trial. Sixteen nurses (eight from each group) dropped out of the study, and analysis of covariance was used to compare outcomes for the remaining nurses in the intervention (10 nurses) and control (10 nurses) groups.

RESULTS:

The results after the trial showed significant improvements in RDQ, SF-36, and VAS score in the intervention group compared with that in the control group (p <0.005). Furthermore, the ultrasound data showed a significant increase in the left and right muscle diameter of all three abdominal muscles during the abdominal drawing-in maneuver in the intervention group compared with that in the control group (p <0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

This study showed that a multi-step core stability exercise program is a helpful treatment option for improving quality of life and reducing disability and pain in female nurses with CLBP.

KEYWORDS:

Exercise therapy; Low back pain; Nurses; Quality of life

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