Context: A simulated horseback riding (SHR) exercise is effective for improvement of pain and functional disability, but its comparative effectiveness with the other is unknown. Objective: The authors aimed to demonstrate the effect of a SHR exercise in people with chronic low back pain. Design: A randomized controlled trial. Settings: Community and university campus. Participants: A total of 48 participants with chronic low back pain were divided into 2 groups, and SHR exercises (n = 24) or stabilization (STB) exercises (n = 24) were performed. Interventions: The exercises were performed for 30 minutes, 2 days per week for 8 weeks. Main Outcome Measures: Numeric rating scale, functional disabilities (Oswestry disability index and Roland–Morris disability), and fear-avoidance beliefs questionnaire (FABQ) scores were measured at baseline and at 4 weeks, 8 weeks, and 6 months. Results: A 2-way repeated analysis of variance identified that between-group comparisons showed significant differences in the FABQ related to work scale (F = 21.422; P = .01). There were no significant differences in the numeric rating scale (F = 1.696; P = .21), Oswestry disability index (F = 1.848; P = .20), Roland–Morris disability (F = 0.069; P = .80), and FABQ related to physical scale (F = 1.579; P = .24). In within-group comparisons, both groups presented significant differences in numeric rating scale (both SHR and STB after 4 wk), Oswestry disability index (both SHR and STB after 6 mo), and Roland–Morris disability (SHR after 6 mo and STB after 8 wk) compared with baseline values. In FABQ-related physical (SHR after 4 wk) and work scales (SHR after 6 mo), there were only significant differences in the SHR compared with baseline values. Conclusions: SHR exercise for 8 weeks had a greater effect than STB exercise for reducing work-related FABQ. The SHR exercise performed in a seated position could substantially decrease pain-related fear disability in young adults with chronic low back pain.
T. Kim, Lee, S. Kim, and Yoon are with Graduate School, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea. Oh is with Medical Health Research Center, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea. S. Kim is also with the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Korea University Anam Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea. Yoon is also with the Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health Sciences, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.