n South African Journal of Sports Medicine - Interventions for chronic low back pain : whole body vibration and spinal stabilisation : original research

Volume 23, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1015-5163
  • E-ISSN: 2078-516X



This study explored, described and compared the effects of whole body vibration (WBV) therapy and conventional spinal stabilisation exercises in persons with chronic low back pain (CLBP).

A non-randomised sampling technique was used to delineate the base of volunteers gathered by a combination of accidental and snowball sampling methods. Twenty subjects were randomly assigned into either a WBV or a spinal stabilisation (SS) group. The dependent variables were perception of pain and general functionality, abdominal muscular endurance, spinal muscular endurance and hamstring flexibility. These were measured at the pre-, mid- and post-test assessments. During the 8-week intervention, both groups performed the same spinal stabilisation exercises 3 sessions per week, the difference being the dynamic performance of the conventional land-based SS group compared with the static, isometric performance on the vibration platform. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) determined differences between groups at the pre-, mid- and post-test. Dependent sample -tests were computed to determine whether the increases/decreases over time were significant within each group. Cohen's d was used to determine the practical significance of results.
There were significant decreases in perception of pain and enhanced performance of functional activity of daily living, increases in abdominal and hamstring flexibility midway through and after the intervention period for both groups. Neither of the two methods of rehabilitation was significantly superior except for spinal muscular endurance in the WBV group after the 8-week intervention. WBV could be considered as an alternative method of exercise intervention for the rehabilitation of CLBP.

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