[Purpose] This study examined the feasibility of using an intervention of core stabilization exercises using a sling to control pain and muscle strength of patients with chronic low back pain. [Subjects] The subjects, 30 chronic low back patients, were divided randomly into two exercise groups: one group performed core stabilization exercises using a sling (n=15), and the other group performed mat exercises group (n=15). Each exercise program was performed three days per week for four weeks. Pain and muscle strength were measured before and after the intervention. Pain was assessed using a visual analogue scale (VAS) and muscle strength was measured with a Tergumed device. [Results] The differences in the VAS scores for the sling exercise and mat exercise program were statistically significant between pre and post intervention in both groups. Muscle strength increases were also statistically significant. However, the comparison of sling exercise and mat exercise program showed no statistically significant differences between the groups, post-intervention. [Conclusion] Both the sling exercise and the mat exercise program reduced chronic low back pain improved patients’ lumbar muscle strength, and decreased VAS scores; and the sling exercise was more effective than the mat exercise program. Further study is needed to develop the sling exercise for effective use in clinical practice for the treatment of chronic low back pain.
2012 by the Society of Physical Therapy Science