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Biomed Res Int. 2019 Jan 23;2019:2060987. doi: 10.1155/2019/2060987. eCollection 2019.

Effectiveness of Combined General Rehabilitation Gymnastics and Muscle Energy Techniques in Older Women with Chronic Low Back Pain.

Author information

Department of Functional Anatomy, Poznan University of Physical Education, Poznan/61-871, Poland.
Department of Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, Poznan University of Physical Education, Poznan/61-871, Poland.



The aim of this study was to determine the effect of general rehabilitation gymnastics on subjective and objective characteristics of locomotor system in older women with chronic LBP. To satisfy this goal, the outcomes in exercising women were compared with the results of nonexercising controls.

Material and Methods:

The study group included 21 women with chronic LBP (age 65-75 years), participating in a 3-year general rehabilitation program combining strength, stretching, endurance, balance, and stabilization exercises with Muscle Energy Techniques (MET). Control group included 20 women with chronic LBP, who neither undertook the gymnastics nor participated in other forms of physical activity. The list of outcome measures included pain severity (Numeric Rating Scale), limitations in the activities of daily living (Oswestry Disability Index and Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire), mobility of all spinal segments (tensometric electrogoniometry), and bioelectrical activity of back muscles (kinesiologic electromyography).


Exercising women presented with lesser severity of current pain (by 62%, p<0.001) and pain experienced during the last three months (by 32.5%, p<0.001), reported less ailments during the last three months, and had fewer limitations in the activities of daily living (a 30% decrease in Oswestry Disability Index, p<0.05, and a 65% decrease in Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire scores, p<0.001) than the controls. Moreover, they showed significantly higher values of nearly all spondylometric parameters except for cervical lateral flexion. The study groups did not differ in the amplitudes of bioelectrical signal from the back muscles.


These findings may point to beneficial effects of the combined exercise program.

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