The effect of hip muscle strengthening on pain and disability for individuals with non-specific low back pain : a randomized controlled trial

Kendall, Karen D., Emery, Carolyn A., Wiley, Preston, & Ferber, Reed (2014) The effect of hip muscle strengthening on pain and disability for individuals with non-specific low back pain : a randomized controlled trial. In Green, Daniel (Ed.) 6th Exercise & Sports Science Australia Confrerence and Sports Dietitians Australia Update: Research to Practice, 10-12 April 2014, Adelaide, SA.



Clinical guidelines for the treatment of chronic low back pain suggest the use of supervised exercise. Motor control (MC) based exercise is widely used within clinical practice but its efficacy is equivalent to general exercise therapy. MC exercise targets the trunk musculature. Considering the mechanical links between the hip, pelvis, and lumbar spine, surprisingly little focus has been on investigating the contribution of the hip musculature to lumbopelvic support. The purpose of this study is to compare the efficacy of two exercise programs for the treatment of non-specific low back pain (NSLBP).


Eighty individuals aged 18-65 years of age were randomized into two groups to participate in this trial. The primary outcome measures included self-reported pain intensity (0-100mm VAS) and percent disability (Oswestry Disability Index V2). Bilateral measures of hip strength (N/kg) and two dimensional frontal plane mechanics (º) were the secondary outcomes. Outcomes were measured at baseline and following a six-week home based exercise program including weekly sessions of real-time ultrasound imaging.


Within group comparisons revealed clinically meaningful reductions in pain for both groups. The MC exercise only (N= 40, xˉ =-20.9mm, 95%CI -25.7, -16.1) and the combined MC and hip exercise (N= 40, xˉ = -24.9mm, 95%CI -30.8, -19.0). There was no statistical difference in the change of pain (xˉ =-4.0mm, t= -1.07, p=0.29, 95%CI -11.5, 3.5) or disability (xˉ =-0.3%, t=-0.19, p=0.85, 95%CI -11.5, 3.5) between groups.


Both exercise programs had similar and positive effects on NSLBP which support the use of the home based exercise programs with weekly supervised visits. However, the addition of specific hip strengthening exercises to a MC based exercise program did not result in significantly greater reductions in pain or disability.

Trial Registration

NCTO1567566 Funding: Worker’s Compensation Board Alberta Research Grant.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

125 since deposited on 03 Sep 2014
31 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 75905
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Exercise therapy, non-specific low back pain, chronic disease, kinematics
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 03 Sep 2014 23:09
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2014 23:09

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page