Isokinetic trunk training on pain, disability, and strength in non-specific low back pain patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis

W. Reyes-Ferrada, L. Chirosa-Rios, D. Martinez-Garcia, A. Rodríguez-Perea, D. Jerez-Mayorga

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Low back pain is one of the leading causes of disability globally, with a high economic and social burden. A decrease or imbalance in trunk strength has been associated with the occurrence of low back pain and its severity. Trunk strength training is helpful in the treatment of Non-specific low back pain (NSLBP) patients. However, we do not know the effects of trunk isokinetic training (IKT) on pain intensity, disability, and trunk strength. OBJECTIVE: This systematic review aimed to determine the effects of trunk IKT in NSLBP patients on pain intensity, disability, and trunk flexor and extensor isokinetic strength. METHODS: We searched PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, CENTRAL, and PEDro, from January 2001 until March 2021 and updated to November 2022. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that investigated the effect of IKT in adult participants with NSLBP on pain intensity, disability, or isokinetic trunk strength were included. Mean difference (MD) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated for pain. Bias was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias (RoB) tool and evidence certainty via Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE). RESULTS: Among 1750 retrieved articles, eight were included in this review. Meta-analysis comparing IKT (trunk isokinetic training, n= 134) with control groups (conventional exercises, n= 133) revealed that IKT decreases pain intensity (MD -1.50 (95% CI: -2.60; -0.39)) immediately post-intervention, and one month (MD -1.97 (95% CI: -2.92; -1.03)) and at six months follow-up (MD -2.48 (95% CI: -2.77; -2.19)), although with a very low to low quality according to the GRADE rating. Besides, IKT decreases disability and increases isokinetic trunk strength, but with scant evidence. CONCLUSIONS: Trunk IKT could be a novel clinical tool for pain management in patients with NSLBP, although evidence is scarce. In addition, few RCTs exist for IKT on disability or trunk isokinetic strength in patients with NSLBP. Therefore, further research on this topic is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1237-1250
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2023


  • chronic pain
  • core muscles
  • dynamometer
  • exercises
  • Rehabilitation
  • strengthening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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