Stabilization exercises versus flexion exercises in degenerative spondylolisthesis: a randomized controlled trial

Review written by Dr Mary O'Keeffe info

Key Points

  1. Exercise is a common treatment for low back pain and leg pain associated with degenerative spondylolisthesis.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

In the physiotherapy world, it is difficult not to think of stabilization exercises when we hear of a diagnosis of spondylolisthesis. A past trial (1) on 44 patients with a radiologic diagnosis of spondylolysis found that a stabilization exercise programme yielded better effects on pain and disability levels compared to usual care provided a physiotherapist. Yet, there is little consensus on whether stabilization exercises are the best form of exercise to prescribe for this group of patients.

This randomized controlled trial compared the effect of stabilization exercise on pain and disability levels compared to a lumbar flexion exercise programme.

There is little consensus on whether stabilization exercises are the best form of exercise to prescribe for patients with spondylolisthesis.
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The clinician should use his/her own judgement based on clinical presentation, aggravating and easing factors, and patient preferences to decide on exercise selection for this condition.

METHODS

Study design: Randomized controlled trial

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