Clinical Prediction Rules For Lumbar Stabilization

There are many clinical opinions out there, in the one extreme, there are those who believe EVERY individual with back pain requires some form of lumbar stabilization exercise program, and there are others who believe that lumbar stabilization exercises are of little benefit, all people need is repeated movements and postural education.

Is it possible that both these extreme opinions are inaccurate? Could it be possible that SOME patients with LBP benefit from stabilization exercises and SOME do not?

The million-dollar question is… how can clinicians know before hand which patients are most likely to benefit from a stabilization exercise program?

Well, this 2005 study very effectively demonstrated clinical prediction rules to answer just that question!!

The greatest predictors for dramatic success with an 8-week stabilization program (attending PT 2X/week) were:

1) Age less than 40

2) Positive prone instability test (Search the “clinical library” for details)

3) Presence of aberrant movement during forward bending (e.g. thigh climbing, a painful arc, �??catching�?? pain, lumbo-pelvic rhythm reversal)

4) Average passive SLR greater than 90 degrees

5) Hypermobility during lumbar mobility assessment (i.e. a PA mob)

6) Fear Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire (FABQ) Physical activity score of GREATER than 9 (Look in the �??clinical articles�?? section of this web site for a copy of the FABQ)

Posted on: November 10, 2005

Categories: Lumbar Spine

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