Comparison of the Therapeutic Effects of a Sling Exercise and a Traditional Stabilizing Exercise for Clinical Lumbar Spinal Instability

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context: Specific muscle-stabilization training can be relevant to patients with clinical spinal instability symptoms. The authors hypothesized that performing sling exercise using an elastic band in patients with clinical spinal instability would lead to pain reduction and improved lumbar spine stability. Objective: To compare supervised sling exercise with an elastic band with traditional stabilizing exercise in chronic lower back pain (LBP) patients with clinical spinal instability. Design: Randomized assessor-blind controlled trial. Setting: University rehabilitation hospital. Main Outcome Measures: The participants were evaluated thrice at baseline, immediately after, and 3 mo after the last treatment session with the Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NPRS) and by the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). Interventions: Participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 treatment groups: a traditional trunk-muscle-stabilizing exercise group or a sling-exercise with elastic bands group. The participants in all treatment groups attended treatment twice a week for 12 wk. Results: The NPRS at immediately and 3 mo after treatments showed significantly higher improvement in the sling-exercise with elastic bands group than in the traditional trunk-muscle-stabilizing exercise group, respectively (P < .05). The ODI at immediately and 3 mo after treatment showed a significantly higher improvement in the sling-exercise with elastic bands group than in the traditional trunk-muscle-stabilizing exercise group, respectively (P < .05). Conclusion: A sling exercise with elastic bands leads to a reduction in pain and disability compared with a traditional stabilizing exercise, although traditional stabilizing exercise also shows good results in chronic LBP patients with clinical spinal instability. A sling exercise with an elastic band could be a useful treatment for chronic LBP with clinical spinal instability.

Y.W. Kim, N.Y. Kim, and Lee are with the Dept of Rehabilitation Medicine, and Lee also with the Severance Rehabilitation Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea. Chang is with the Dept of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Lee (bettertomo@yuhs.ac) is corresponding author.
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