Effect of Core Stability Exercises on Feed-Forward Activation of Deep Abdominal Muscles in Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Vasseljen O et al. – Abdominal muscle onset was largely unaffected by 8 weeks of exercises in chronic low back pain (LBP) patients. There was no association between change in onset and LBP. Large individual variations in activation pattern of the deep abdominal muscles may justify exploration of differential effects in subgroups of LBP.Methods
- Subjects (N = 109) with chronic nonspecific LBP of at least 3 months' duration were randomly assigned to 8 weekly treatments with low–load core stability exercises, high–load stabilizing exercises in slings, or general exercises in groups.
- Primary outcome was onset recorded bilaterally by m–mode ultrasound imaging in the deep abdominal muscles in response to rapid shoulder flexion.
- No or small changes were found in onset after treatment.
- Baseline adjusted between group differences showed a 15 ms (95% confidence interval [CI], 1–28; P = 0.03) and a 19 ms (95% CI, 5–33; P < 0.01) improvement with sling relative to core stability and general exercises, respectively, but on 1 side only.
- There was no association between changes in pain and onset over the intervention period (R2 ≤ 0.02).