Abstract of the Week: The effects of a standardized belly dance program on perceived pain, disability, and function in women with chronic low back pain.

Alright, this week’s abstract isn’t your average study. And while I know that an “N” of one does not hold a lot of statistical power, I still think this one warrants a quick read. Why? Let me tell you.

For one, how could you resist reading an article discussing the influence of belly dancing on decreasing chronic low back pain? And then we’ve got to consider that a large subset of our chronic low back pain patients do not find exercise fun. On the contrary. They find it to be a chore.

Case and point, I once gave a patient with low back pain three exercises to do at home to try to recruit their glut med and multifidus. The patient came back in the next week stating that exercise was not their thing, so they decided to combine all of the exercises into one “super exercise.” As you probably may have guessed, this “super exercise” was not achieving the desired results. But it got me thinking…what if we could make exercise more fun for those who see it as a chore?

Look, I know this study only had two participants, but both of them had a decrease in their low back pain. Belly dancing requires a lot of segmental control of the spine in order to do it properly. It is that same segmental control that we are trying to regain through the exercises we prescribe. So what if we made exercise more fun?  What if we included dancing?  Would patients be more likely to stick to it?  Just maybe.

What do you think? Tell us below and join us for one of our many manual therapy courses coming up across the country to explore this and much more in detail.

NAIOMT Faculty, Stacy Soappman, PT, DSc, COMT, FAAOMPT

**Abstract of the week shared by NAIOMT Instructor Stacy Soappman, PT, DSc, COMT, FAAOMPT.

2 thoughts on “Abstract of the Week: The effects of a standardized belly dance program on perceived pain, disability, and function in women with chronic low back pain.

  1. Interesting thought and so true that we need to connect with our patients and provide them with motivational ways to gain success. For some pain avoidance and for others if it does not hurt or put demands on me it isn’t helping. For some exercise is drudgery and an obsession for others. Integration of therapeutic activity that is fun and fits into a person’s life is usually embraced more successfully.


  2. I realize the discussion has been about making exercise fun and therefore easier for the patient/client to follow through on doing the exercise. I want to mention that traditional movement and dance is core strengthening and functional. I have heard that belly dancing was originally designed to help women in childbirth. My experience of the figure-8 movements of African dance suggests to me that that dance form (which includes too many cultures to list here) stimulates both flexibility and strength. In the fun category, when patients inquire how to keep the gains they have received from their work with me I often recommend partner dancing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s