Authors: Agrawal Sonal S
Background & Purpose: McKenzie exercises for the lumbar spine, which are done repeatedly, such as flexion in standing (FIS), extension in standing flexion in lying (FIL) & extension in lying (EIL) have been used in the management of low back pain for over three decades. The cardiovascular effects of exercises that involve postural stabilization, arm exercises and of exercises performed in lying are well known, but there are seldom studies performed to assess the cardiovascular effects of these commonly used McKenzie exercises. Therefore the study focused on evaluating the effects of 4 commonly used McKenzie exercises on the cardiovascular system. Methods: 80 subjects in the age group of 20-59 years were randomly assigned into 4 groups according to their age, such that such that each group comprised of an equal number of subjects & equal number of males & females. Each subject performed all the 4 exercises (FIS, EIS, FIL & EIL) for 10, 15 & 20 repetitions respectively. Heart rate, blood pressure & rate pressure product were recorded before & after each set of repetitions & after each type of exercise. Results: Repetitive McKenzie lumbar spine exercises had cardiovascular effects in apparently healthy subjects (both male & female). Exercises performed in lying were hemodynamically more demanding than that performed in standing, also exercises involving flexion of the lumbar spine elicited greater cardiovascular demand as compared to extension exercises i.e. FIL>EIL>FIS>EIS irrespective of the number of repetitions, 10, 15 or 20. The cardiovascular demand for a given subject increased as the number of repetitions increased, for all the 4 exercises. Conclusion: McKenzie exercises when done repetitively have cardiovascular effects in healthy subjects.
Keywords: McKenzie, low back pain, cardiovascular system