Prolonged standing often leads to low back pain, which can lead to occupational disability. Persons with low back pain after prolonged standing often have abnormal EMG activity of the gluteus medius and trunk flexor and extensor muscles. Researchers were interested to see if persons with low back pain after prolonged standing could reduce this pain after a progressive stabilization exercise program.

20 subjects with low back pain after prolonged standing were randomly assigned to an experimental or control exercise program. The 4-week home exercise program included 18 stabilization exercises targeting the abdominal, lower back, and gluteal muscles; one of the exercises was a standing row exercise with elastic resistance. Ten subjects performed exercises 4 times per week and attended one session per week supervised by a physical therapist. The other 10 control subjects did not exercise.

Subjects completing the home exercise program had significantly less low back pain during prolonged standing compared to the non-exercising control group. An exercise program of core stabilization exercises utilizing Thera-Band® elastic resistance may benefit patients with low back pain during prolonged standing, but more research is needed.

REFERENCE Nelson-Wong E, Callaghan JP. Changes in muscle activation patterns and subjective low back pain ratings during prolonged standing in response to an exercise intervention. J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2010 Dec;20(6):1125-33. Epub 2010 Jul 31.

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