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Comparison of isokinetic exercise versus standard exercise training in patients with chronic low back pain: a randomized controlled study.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the effectiveness of an isokinetic exercise programme and a standard exercise programme in patients with chronic low back pain in terms of pain, mobility, disability, psychological status and muscle strength.

DESIGN: A randomized controlled trial.

SETTING: An outpatient rehabilitation clinic.

SUBJECTS: A total of 40 patients with low back pain were included in the study.

INTERVENTIONS: Patients with low back pain were randomly allocated into group 1 (n=20, isokinetic exercises) and group 2 (n=20, standard exercise).

MAIN MEASURES: Outcome measures included a visual analogue scale (VAS) for pain, fingertip-to-floor test for spinal mobility, Modified Oswestry Low Back Disability Questionnaire (MOLBDQ), Beck Depression Inventory and isokinetic muscle testing.

RESULTS: The isokinetic and standard exercise groups demonstrated significant improvement in the VAS, fingertip-to-floor test, MOLBDQ, Beck Depression Inventory scores, and muscle strength compared with the baseline that persisted until the end of the first month (P<0.05). Comparison of both exercise groups in terms of these parameters obtained at the end of the treatment and at the first month after treatment showed no significant difference (P>0.05).

CONCLUSION: Isokinetic and standard exercise programmes have an equal effect in the treatment of low back pain, with no statistically significant difference found between the two programmes. The standard exercise programme was easily performed and had a low cost, making it the preferred option for exercise.

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