Background: Various exercises have been proposed to mitigate chronic low back pain (LBP). However, to date, no one particular exercise has been shown to be superior. Hence, the aim of this study was to compare the efficiency between 2 exercises: the individualized graded lumbar stabilization exercise (IGLSE) and walking exercise (WE).
Methods: A randomized controlled trial was conducted in 48 participants with chronic LBP. After screening, participants were randomized to 1 of 4 groups: flexibility exercise, WE, stabilization exercise (SE), and stabilization with WE (SWE) groups. Participants underwent each exercise for 6 weeks. The primary outcome was visual analog scale (VAS) of LBP during rest and physical activity. Secondary outcomes were as follows: VAS of radiating pain measured during rest and physical activity; frequency of medication use (number of times/day); Oswestry disability index; Beck depression inventory; endurances of specific posture; and strength of lumbar extensor muscles.
Results: LBP during physical activity was significantly decreased in all 4 groups. Exercise frequency was significantly increased in the SE and WE groups; exercise time was significantly increased in the SE group. The endurance of supine, side lying, and prone posture were significantly improved in the WE and SWE groups.
Conclusions: Lumbar SE and WE can be recommended for patients with chronic LBP because they not only relieve back pain but also prevent chronic back pain through improving muscle endurance.