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Restorative Exercise for Clinical Low Back Pain


    This research study aimed to prove how strengthening the lumbar extensor muscles in the spine using specific equipment increased progress. This study compared the progress of two different medical centers that are both using the same treatment protocols and research tactics. The research was recorded and presented in the study.


    There are several different protocols and treatments for low back pain. Clinical researchers are looking for the new “standardization treatment protocol” which implies that the testing will be accurate and comprehensive. This study’s purpose is to investigate how much more effective restorative exercise and strengthening exercises are than these standardized treatment methods. In past research, data has concluded that these forms of treatment are not long-term solutions and restorative exercise is a more preventive method. Most patients who return to work after utilizing a standardized treatment method are not healed and can potentially injure themselves further or prolong their pain. The study compares two facilities that are using the standardized methods of treatment but implemented progressive, restorative exercise using the MedX Lumbar Extension machine to certain population groups of patients.

    The two clinics were the Physician’s Neck and Back Clinic in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the OrthoMed Spine and Joint Conditioning Center in the Department of Orthopedics at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). Each facility had a program that entailed high-intensity low back strengthening. The program consisted of training twice a week for 8 weeks. At the Minneapolis center, a total of 360 patients completed the study and at the UCSD center, there were a total of 714 patients in their study. Yet only 412 participants combined from the centers completed the 1-year followup. Back strength of the subjects was tested on the MedX Lumbar Extension Machine. This machine had the ability to isolate certain muscle groups through pelvic stabilization. Torque output and lumbar flexion were tested at different points throughout the exercises.

    The patients who used the MedX Lumbar Extension machine had a significant increase in back strength and range of motion. There was also considerable improvement in flexion and extension among the participants. Subjects had the opportunity to reflect on their own progress and they described themselves as getting better. All groups had consistent levels of improvement throughout the study. The study concludes the idea that a progressive strengthening program is an effective method of treatment for clinical low back pain.