Effects of core stability exercises on multifidus muscles in healthy women and women with chronic low-back pain

Irina Kliziene, Saule Sipaviciene, Sarunas Klizas, Daiva Imbrasiene
Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation 2015, 28 (4): 841-7

BACKGROUND: Chronic low-back pain (LBP) may be related to decreased lumbar multifidus muscle cross-sectional area (CSA).

OBJECTIVE: In this study, core stabilization exercises were designed to enhance neuromuscular control and correct multifidus dysfunction.

METHODS: The subjects were healthy women (n = 11) and women with chronic LBP (n = 17). Lumbar multifidus muscle CSAs were measured by ultrasonography. Tests were carried out before training exercises for lumbar stability, and again 4 months and 8 months after training.

RESULTS: In women with LBP, the mean multifidus muscle CSA increased by 22% on the right side and 23% on the left side after 8 months of lumbar stabilization training, compared with baseline measurements. In healthy women, mean multifidus muscle CSA increased by 24% on the right side and 23% on the left side, compared with baseline values.

CONCLUSIONS: A core stabilization exercise program significantly increased multifidus muscle CSAs in both healthy women and women with chronic LBP.

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