Comparative effectiveness of two stabilization exercise positions on pain and functional disability of patients with non-specific chronic low back pain
This study investigated the effects of two stabilization exercise positions (prone and supine) on pain and functional disability (FD) of patients with Non-specific Chronic Low Back Pain (NSCLBP). This was with the view to comparing the effects of the two stabilization exercise positions separately and combined on pain and FD of patients with NSCLBP. This study was a randomized-controlled trial involving thirty three subjects with NSCLBP. The subjects were randomly assigned into stabilization in prone (SIP), stabilization in supine (SIS) and combined position (SIPS) groups using fish bowl technique. Subjects in all the groups received infra-red radiation for 15 minutes and kneading massage at the low back region. Subjects in SIP, SIS, and SIPS groups received stabilization exercise in prone lying, supine lying and combination of both positions respectively. Treatment was applied twice weekly for eight weeks. The verbal rating scale and the Roland Morrris Low Back Pain Disability Questionnaires were used to assess the pain intensity (PI) and FD level of each subject at baseline, 4th and 8th week respectively of the treatment sessions. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics, Kruskal-Wallis and turkey multiple comparisons post-hoc tests. The alpha level was set at p < 0.05. Subjects’ mean age was 51.72 ± 11.51 years. Within-group comparison indicated PI and FD at the 4th (17.27; 16.05) and 8th week (8.27; 9.18) were significantly reduced (H=19.752, p < 0.001; H=16.501, p < 0.001) when compared with baseline (25.45; 25.77) in the SIP group. Similarly, the PI and FD at the 4th (15.23; 13.91) and 8th week (10.50; 10.59) were significantly reduced (H= 14.717, p < 0.001; H=17.351, p < 0.001) when compared with baseline (25.27; 26.50) within the SIS group. In the SIPS group, PI and FD were also significantly reduced (H=17.899, p < 0.001; H=3.230, p = 0.199) at the 4th (14.82; 12.91) and 8th week (17.00; 18.14) when compared with baseline (19.18; 19.95). However, the result of the Kruskal-Wallis test showed that there was no significant difference in the PI and FD at the baseline (H= 2.388, p = 0.703; H= 4.508, p= 0.232), 4th (H= 1.379, p= 0.502; H= 3.230, p= 0.199) and 8th week (H= 0.000, p= 1.000; H= 0.721, p= 0.697) of the treatment sessions across the three groups when compared. It was concluded from the study, that stabilization exercises carried out in prone, supine and combination of the two positions were equally effective in managing pain and disability of patients with non- specific chronic low back pain. However, no position was superior to the other.