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SYSTEMATIC REVIEW   Free accessfree

European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2018 October;54(5):647-53

DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.17.05062-6


language: English

Effect of stabilization exercise on back pain, disability and quality of life in adults with scoliosis: a systematic review

Malik H. ALANAZI 1, 2, Eric C. PARENT 1 , Elizabeth DENNETT 3

1 Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada; 2 Sattam bin Abdulaziz University, Al Kharj, Saudi Arabia; 3 Mackenzie Health Science Center, Edmonton, AB, Canada

INTRODUCTION: Adult scoliosis (AS) is the most common spine deformity in adults. Back pain is the main symptom leading patients to seek medical consultation. Stabilization exercise has been shown effective for reducing back pain. No literature review has examined the effects of such exercises in adults with scoliosis. The objective was to systematically review the effects of stabilization exercises on back pain, disability and quality of life in adults with scoliosis.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: We systematically searched the following databases from inception to March 2017: Medline, CINAHL, Embase, SportDiscus and Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials. Selection criteria included: controlled clinical trials that compare core stabilization exercise to placebo, no treatment or another treatment in participants diagnosed with AS over 18 years old. Studies with participants presenting torso or lower extremity surgery, injection in the last six months, comorbidity that could affect the spine, red flags signs or with a history of spine trauma were excluded. We extracted information about participants, treatments, and results on pain, function and quality of life. We appraised quality using Cochrane risk of bias. We formulated level of evidence summary statements using a priori rules based on quality and consistency of results.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: We found 630 unique articles and screened the full-text of 98 articles retrieved. Only one article met all selection criteria and was included in this review. Studies were mainly excluded for study design and patient population. The included study presented a low risk of bias for all criteria except for blinding and reporting if the timing of assessments was similar between groups. The literature provides limited evidence from one study with high risk of bias that stabilization exercises in the form of 20 weeks of active self-correction, task-oriented exercises and cognitive-behavioral therapy significantly improves pain, disability and quality of life.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite the high prevalence of AS, there is an important gap in the literature with limited evidence reporting the effect of exercise on back pain in adults with scoliosis. This review suggest further experimental research is needed and formulates research recommendations.

KEY WORDS: Exercise - Pain - Quality of life - Adult - Scoliosis - Physical therapy modalities

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