Chronic Low Back and Neck Pain: An Epidemic Out of Control

Posted on May 21, 2012 by PHB Communications

Featured in Self Funding By Thomas E. Dreisinger, PhD, FACSM
May 12, 2012

You would be hard-pressed to find an insurer in the United States today who isn’t looking for ways to reduce healthcare costs without compromising the quality of care. Cost centers associated with chronic lower back and neck pain are a good place to start. At $100 billion annually, back and neck pain treatment interventions are the sixth most costly medical expense, and the number one surgical cost center in the healthcare system. Read more>

For Back Pain, Steroid Shots No More Effective Than Placebo

Posted on May 2, 2012 by PHB Communications

A randomized trial of steroid injections for back pain has shown that they are no more effective than a placebo. Because the long-term benefits of surgery remain unproven and pain medicines often have serious side effects, doctors have increasingly turned to steroid injections to treat lumbosacral radiculopathy, a common cause of back pain. The condition stems from damage to the discs between the vertebrae that often leads to sciatica, numbness or pain in the legs. Read more>

The Effect of Lumbar Extension Training with and without Pelvic Stabilization on Lumbar Strength and Low Back Pain

Posted on February 25, 2012 by Jim Evanger

This article in The Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation published by IOS Press discusses the effect of lumbar extension training with and without pelvic stabilization on lumbar strength and low back pain. For more information, or to order the article click here.

Dave Smith1, Gary Bissell2, Stewart Bruce-Low3, Caroline Wakefield4

1Department of Exercise and Sport Science, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
2ProPhysio Spinal and Sport Injury Clinic, UK
3Centre for Health, Exercise and Sport Science, Southampton Solent University, UK
4Department of Sport and Exercise Science, University of Chester, UK

Introduction: A dynamometer employing a stabilization procedure (lumbar extension machine, MedX, Ocala, FL) is effective in improving strength and reducing symptoms of low back pain (LBP), and researchers have hypothesized that this effectiveness is due to the pelvic stabilization. However, effects of the dynamometer with and without pelvic stabilization on LBP have not been compared: This was the aim of the present study.

Methods: Forty-two chronic LBP patients were randomly assigned to a lumbar extension training with pelvic stabilization group (STAB; n=15), a lumbar extension without pelvic stabilization group (NO-STAB; n=15) and a control group (n=12). STAB and NO-STAB participants completed one weekly session of dynamic variable resistance exercise (one set of 8–12 repetitions to fatigue) on the lumbar extension machine (with or without pelvic stabilization) for 12 weeks. Pre- and post-test measures of self-reported LBP (101-point visual analog scale; pre-test mean of 25), related disability (Oswestry disability index; pre-test mean of 34) and lumbar strength were taken.

Results: After the exercise program, the STAB group increased significantly in lumbar strength at all joint angles, and decreased significantly in visual analogue and Oswestry scores. However, there were no significant changes in these variables in the NO-STAB and control groups.

Discussion: Isolated lumbar extension exercise is very effective in reducing LBP in chronic patients. However, when the pelvis is not stabilized, otherwise identical exercises appear ineffective in reducing LBP.


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