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Effect of 12-Week Whole-Body Vibration Exercise on Lumbopelvic Proprioception and Pain Control in Young Adults with Nonspecific Low Back Pain

Yi-Li Zheng, Xiao-Feng Wang, Bing-Lin Chen, Wei Gu, Xin Wang, Bing Xu, Juan Zhang, Ya Wu, Chang-Cheng Chen, Xiao-Chen Liu, Xue-Qiang Wang

(Department of Sport Rehabilitation, Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:443-452

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.912047

BACKGROUND: Nonspecific low back pain (NSLBP) accounts for a large proportion of low back pain cases. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of the whole-body vibration (WBV) exercise on lumbar proprioception in NSLBP patients. It was hypothesized that WBV exercise enhances lumbar proprioception.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Forty-two patients with NSLBP performed an exercise program 3 times a week for a total of 12 weeks of WBV. The lumbar proprioception was measured by joint position sense. Outcomes were lumbar angle deviation and visual analogue scale (VAS) score.
RESULTS: After the 12-week WBV exercise, lumbar flexion angle deviation was reduced from 3.65±2.26° to 1.90±1.07° (P=0.0001), and extension angle deviation was reduced from 3.06±1.85° to 1.61±0.75° (P=0.0001), significantly lower than baseline. After participating in the 12-week WBV exercise, a significant pain reduction was observed (P=0.0001). Men in the whole group (n=32) indicated significantly lower angle deviations in flexion and extension, whereas women (n=10) indicated significantly lower flexion angle deviation (P=0.037), and no significant difference was found in extension angle deviation (P=0.052). However, by subdividing the entire group (n=42) into poor and good proprioceptive groups, WBV exercise presented significant enhancement of lumbar proprioceptive ability in the poor flexion proprioception subgroup, poor extension proprioception subgroup, and good extension proprioception subgroup (each P=0.0001), but not in the subgroup with good flexion proprioceptive ability (P=0.165).
CONCLUSIONS: Lumbar flexion and extension proprioception as measured by joint position sense was significantly enhanced and pain was significantly reduced after 12-week WBV exercise in NSLBP patients. However, the patients with good flexion proprioceptive ability had limited proprioceptive enhancement.

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