The Effect of Back Extension Exercise on H Reflex in Patients with Lumbosacral Radiculopathy
Keywords:H- reflex, back extension exercise, Lumbosacral Radiculopathy
Background: McKenzie back extension exercises from prone position has been widely prescribed for
patients with lumbosacral radiculopathy (LSR). It has been reported to reduce radicular symptoms. Such
reduction might indicate that decompression effect of this exercise on the compromised nerve root. The aim
of this study was to evaluate the effect of McKenzie back extension exercise from prone position on soleus
H-reflex of patients with LSR.
Patient and Method: Seventeen male and Thirteen female patients (46.27±10.13 years) with confirmed
chronic unilateral LSR participated in the study. All patients had done thirty repetitions of McKenzie
back exercise from prone position. The soleus H-reflex was measured before and after the exercise. The
Hreflex was elicited by electrical stimulation of the tibial nerve on the popliteal fossa of each legs. The
non-involved leg of the patient was used as a control. Subjective pain intensity and sit-to-stand performance
were additionally measured before and after back extension exercise using numerical pain analog scale and
a stopwatch respectively.
Results: The H-reflex latency within the affected leg showed significant difference after the exercise (p
<0.05). The pain intensity and the sit-to-stand test had shown significant changes following exercise (p <
Conclusion: This study could indicate that the McKenzie repeated back extension exercises the manner
performed in this study had improved the H-reflex, pain intensity or functional level of the patients.
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