J Korean Acad Adult Nurs.  2008 Apr;20(2):269-279.

Effect of Lumbar Stabilization Exercise on Back Pain, Physical Fitness, Sleep, and Depression in Middle-Aged Women with Chronic Back Pain

  • 1Department of Nursing, College of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Korea. sukheeahn@cnu.ac.kr


PURPOSE: The study was to examine the effect of lumbar stabilization exercise on back pain, physical fitness, sleep, and depression in middle-aged women who have chronic back pain.
With one group pre-post test design, 18 subjects who have had more than 6 months of back pain were recruited by convenience sampling in D metropolitan area. Lumbar stabilization exercise was based on Tai Chi for back pain program developed by Lam(2003). This program was mainly focusing on strengthening lumbar stabilizing muscle for one hour per session, twice a week for 20 weeks. Degree of back pain, back pain disability, sleep, and depression were measured at three time points(pretest, 12 weeks, and 20 weeks) by a structured study questionnaire. Physical fitness variables including waist flexibility, mobility, and back muscle strength were measured three times at health promotion center located in the university hospital. Data were analyzed by frequency, descriptive statistics, and repeated measures of ANOVA.
Mean age of subjects was 52 years(SD = 6.4). Most of them(90%) had suffered from back pain more than one year and 67% was taking medicine to relieve their back pain. Results showed that back pain score and disability score were not significantly decreased after the exercise. On physical fitness variables, however, waist flexibility(F = 3.50, p = .04) and mobility(F = 3.31, p = .04) were improved after the exercise. Quality of sleep(F = 4.48, p = .03) was improved gradually and depression scores were also decreased(F = 3.12, p = .05) after the exercise.
This lumbar stabilization exercise was not able to reduce chronic back pain, but could improve physical fitness and psycho-social variables for community dwelling women who have chronic back pain. Further study is needed to replicate this exercise with control group to confirm the positive effect.


Back pain; Exercise; Flexibility; Sleep; Depression
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