Effects of functional resistance training on fitness and quality of life in females with chronic nonspecific low-back pain

J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2018 Feb 6;31(1):95-105. doi: 10.3233/BMR-169684.


Background: Exercise is important as adjuvant in the chronic low back pain (CLBP) treatment. Functional training could involve benefits for low back pain (LBP) patients.

Objective: To evaluate the effects of a 12-week period of functional resistance training on health-related quality of life (HRQOL), disability, body pain, and physical fitness in CLBP females.

Methods: Nineteen females CLBP were recruited according to Paris Task Force on Back Pain criteria. Participants were randomly assigned to an exercise group (EG); and a control group (CG). Subjects were tested at baseline and at week 12 after 24 sessions, 2 days per week. Body pain was assessed using visual analog scale (VAS), disability with Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and HRQOL with Short Form 36 questionnaire. Physical fitness was measured using: flamingo test, back endurance test, side bridge test, abdominal curl-up tests, and 60-s squat test.

Results: EG showed significant improvements in physical function (10%; p< 0.05), body pain (42%; p< 0.05), vitality (31%; p< 0.05), physical component scale (15%; p< 0.05), VAS (62.5%; p< 0.01), ODI (61.3%; p< 0.05), balance (58%; p< 0.05), curl-up (83%; p< 0.01), squat (22%; p< 0.01), static back (67%; p< 0.01), and side bridge (56%; p< 0.01).

Conclusion: Periodized functional resistance training decreased pain and disability and improved HRQOL, balance and physical fitness in females with CLBP, and can thus be used safely in this population.

Keywords: Resistance training; disability; exercise; pain; therapy; women.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chronic Pain / physiopathology
  • Chronic Pain / psychology
  • Chronic Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Disabled Persons / rehabilitation*
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / physiopathology
  • Low Back Pain / psychology
  • Low Back Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Resistance Training / methods*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult