Sultan Alzubeidi completed his Bachelor degree at the age of 25 years from King Saud University, Saudi Arabia and his Master degree from University of Salford School of Medicine, U.K. He is the Director of Rehabilitation Services at King Salman Armed Forces Hospital, Tabuk, and K.S.A.
Background: Chronic low back pain is one of the biggest health problems around the world. It is considered as one of the main causes of disability, high medical expenses and absenteeism. Chronic low back pain can be treated indifferent ways. However, the efficacy of most of these treatments has not been studied so medical intervention for chronic low back pain varies widely. Stabilization exercise is one form of physiotherapy treatment recommended in some guidelines. However, there is an argument about the effectiveness of this intervention.
Objective: This systematic review aimed to investigate the effectiveness of stabilization exercises on patients with chronic low back pain and disability.
Study design: Systematic Review.
Methods: An online research through the electronic databases, such as Ovid, Medline, CINHAL, Google Scholar, Cochrane library, Pedro database and PubMed was conducted. Citation searches within studies, as well as online tracking of references were also conducted in this review.
Overview for the main results: Twenty studies met the inclusion criteria. Seventeen studies were randomized controlled studies; one was a study case series, one a cohort study, and one a comparative study. The most outcome measures among the studies were pain (numerical pain rating scale, visual analogue scale and shortform McGill pain scale) and disability (Ronald & Morris disability questionnaire and Oswestry disability questionnaire). The results show significant changes between the studies in terms of pain and disability. However, there is moderate evidence about effectiveness of the stabilization exercises for long term sufferers (>6 months).
Conclusion: Using stabilization exercises on patients with chronic low back pain is helpful to reduce pain and disability. However, there is no preference for this intervention over other physiotherapy interventions.