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  • Author: Rozita Hedayati x
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Fatemeh Ehsani, Rozita Hedayati, Rasool Bagheri and Shapour Jaberzadeh

Context: Chronic low back pain (CLBP) often presents with a dysfunction in deep abdominal muscles activity during standing tasks. Although some studies indicated that deep abdominal muscle activity improved during some functional tasks following stabilization exercise (SE), there is no study to evaluate the effect of SE on lateral abdominal muscles thickness during standing postural tasks. Objective: The purpose of this study was (1) to evaluate the lateral abdominal muscles thickness in the participants with CLBP while standing on a balance board and (2) to compare the effects of SE and a general exercise (GE) program on the lateral muscles thickness changes. Methods: This was a between-groups, triple-blinded randomized controlled trial design. In total, 40 females with CLBP were randomly assigned into 2 groups:  GE (control group) and supervised progressive SE (experimental group). Diagnostic ultrasound imaging was used before and after the intervention to measure lateral abdominal muscles thickness during standing on 2 different levels of platform in the Biodex Balance System. Visual analog scale and Roland–Morris Disability Questionnaire were used to evaluate changes in pain intensity and disability. Results: The results indicated significant increases in transverse abdominis muscle thickness during all standing tasks (P = .02) and significant decreases in pain intensity and disability following SE intervention (P < .001). However, the lateral abdominal muscle thicknesses were not changed after GE intervention while standing postural tasks (P > .05). The GE group revealed only significant decreases in pain intensity after intervention (P = .03). Conclusion: Supervised progressive SE improved the activity of deep abdominal muscles in standing postural tasks in the patients with CLBP.