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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 23-28

Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation exercises versus lumbar stabilization exercises for chronic low back pain patients: A randomized interventional study

1 OT School and Centre, T.N.M.C. and BYL Nair Ch. Hospital, Worli, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 National Sports Club of India (NSCI) RFH Jumbo Covid Facility, Worli, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Sunita Koutarapu
17, Premsagar, 69, Sion (East), Mumbai - 400 022, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoth.ijoth_18_21

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Background: Chronic low back pain causes discomfort and disturbance in the mechanoreceptor and proprioception centers. Exercises improve muscle strength, flexibility, endurance, and ability to perform life activities. Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) involves stretching, resisted movements which improves muscle disharmony, atrophy, and joint movement limitation. Lumbar stabilization exercises (LSE) develop the awareness of muscle contraction and control from simple to complex patterns. Both exercises are effective individually in chronic low back pain patients. This study was conducted to find out which technique is better. Objectives: The objective of the study is to determine the efficacy of PNF versus LSE program in chronic low back pain patients. Study Design: A Randomized study was conducted. Methods: A prospective, interventional study was conducted on patients with mechanical low back pain of more than 3 months, in both males and females, of age 20–45 years. Patients having systemic illness, central or peripheral neurologic signs, and specific causes of low back pain were excluded. Individuals having systemic illness and psychiatric illness were also excluded from the study. Twenty-two patients were selected and divided into two groups. Patients were assessed on the Visual Analog Scale (VAS), modified Schober's test, Modified Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Questionnaire (ODI), Roland and Morris Low Back Pain and Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ). Patients in the PNF Group received concentric and eccentric contractions of agonist and antagonist muscles, patterns such as chopping, lifting, bilateral leg, and trunk lateral flexion. LSE Group received core strengthening exercises. Both group received 3 treatment sessions per week for 4 weeks, each session lasting for 45 min. Results: PNF group showed significant improvement in pain on VAS (P = 0.003; 95% confidence interval [CI[, 2.15–3.01), in disability on ODI (P = 0.001, 95% CI, 12.09–20.1), and in lumbar flexibility Modified Schober's test (P = 0.000, 95% CI, 5.15–5.93) On RMDQ, there was no statistically significant difference between PNF and LSE groups (P = 0.061, 95% CI, 6.87–8.97). Conclusion: There was a significant improvement seen in the pain and disability which was assessed on VAS and ODI in the PNF group over LSE. Hence, PNF exercises can be incorporated with LSE in the treatment of LBP.

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