Background and Aims Low Back Pain is a common musculoskeletal condition with an extremely complicated and unclear pathogenesis and in more than 85% of the cases, no clear underlying cause can be identified. In order to be classified as a chronic pain syndrome the symptoms must last for more than twelve weeks and is then defined as non – specific chronic Low Back Pain (nscLBP) and often leads to disability. The aim of this systematic review is to investigate the effectiveness of stretching on specific outcomes and to propose specific dose parameters for this technique
Methods Systematic searches were conducted on 4 databases, Pubmed, Science Direct, Scopus και Pedro. All experimental RCTS investigating the effectiveness of stretching techniques either as a stand-alone treatment technique or as part of a treatment program were included in this review
Results Sixteen RCTs met the inclusion and exclusion criteria and were included in this review. The results of these studies indicate that ST either as a standalone treatment or as part of a treatment program decrease pain, disability and depression and on the other hand increase Range of Movement, functionality and Quality of Life compared to baseline measurements. An effective treatment program should incorporate supervised ST techniques within 12 treatment session once per day unsupervised.
Conclusions The findings of this review support the recommendations of Clinical Guidelines regarding the use of ST in the treatment of nscLBP showing improvement in pain, disability, depression, Range of Movement, functionality and Quality of Life.