Effects of a modified deadlift exercise program on low back pain: A pilot study

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Nava, Ricardo
McGee, Levi
Sevart, Ashley
Weishaar, Paula
Smith, Barbara S.

Nava, Ricardo, McGee, Levi, Sevart, Ashley, Weishaar, Paula. 2019. Effects of a modified deadlift exercise program on low back pain: A pilot study -- In Proceedings: 15th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects. Wichita, KS: Wichita State University


INTRODUCTION: Low back pain (LBP) is among the most prevalent problems in today's society and remains a great obstacle for the medical profession. Current treatments address many different causes including back extensor endurance, weak abdominals, tight hamstrings, and disc dysfunction. One possible treatment incorporates the use of a modified deadlift in order to teach proper lifting technique in an attempt to decrease spine injuries and strengthen back and hip extensors. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine if an eight-week modified deadlift (MDL) program decreased pain and increased back muscle strength in patients with subacute or chronic LBP compared to a control group. METHODS: A randomized controlled trial composed of 18 subjects was performed. Two groups were formed, a control and exercise group that followed a MDL program. Data was collected at baseline, midpoint, and at the end of the eight-week study. Visual Analog Scale (VAS) pain rating and assessment of proper MDL form, for the exercise group, were collected at all three points. The Biering-Sorensen (B-S) test of back muscle endurance was performed during the baseline and final measurements. A mixed analysis of variance (?=0.05) compared the control and exercise groups over time on the measured variables. RESULTS: No significant difference was found between baseline and final measurements in either group for B-S (p>0.05) and VAS (p>0.05). Compliance was 91.8% for the exercise group. Both groups demonstrated an increase in strength and decrease in pain with the exercises group having a larger percentage change. CONCLUSION: An eight-week MDL exercise program had no sizeable benefit on participants with chronic or subacute LBP. Future research may include a disability scale tailored to patients with general LBP and a greater focus on the MDL technique.

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Presented to the 15th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects (GRASP) held at the Rhatigan Student Center, Wichita State University, April 26, 2019.
Research completed in the Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health Professions