Who Can Benefit From Stabilization Exercises for Low Back Pain?
Exercise is good for patients with low back pain. But not all exercises are for everyone. In this study physical therapists looked at stabilization exercises (SEs). The goal of SEs is to train muscles to increase stiffness and decrease motion in the spine.

Who should do these exercises? Is it possible to identify a subgroup of back pain patients who can benefit from this exercise program?

Fifty-four patients with low back pain did a program of spinal stabilization exercises for eight weeks. They went to physical therapy sessions twice a week during this time. They also did exercises at home everyday.

Four factors were found to predict success with SEs. These included age younger than 40 years, straight-leg raise greater than 91 degrees, abnormal lumbar motion, and a positive prone instability test. Patients who had three out of four of these factors had the best results.
Gregory E. Hicks, PhD, PT, et al. Preliminary Development of a Clinical Prediction Rule for Determining Which Patients With Low Back Pain Will Respond to a Stabilization Exercise Program. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabiliation. September 2005. Vol. 86. No. 9. Pp. 1753-1762.