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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2002 Jun;83(6):816-21.

Muscle activation patterns in subjects with and without low back pain.

Author information

1
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To analyze muscle activation patterns during various footplate perturbations, used as proprioceptive challenges in patients with low back pain (LBP) and in controls.

DESIGN:

A prospective and controlled comparative study.

SETTING:

Outpatient clinic.

PARTICIPANTS:

Twenty subjects with chronic LBP and 20 age- and sex-matched controls.

INTERVENTIONS:

The subjects underwent 5 sets of footplate perturbations in 3 directions with 16 perturbations for each set.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Latency, frequency, and asymmetry of muscle activation of the erector spinae, rectus abdominus, anterior tibialis, and gastrocnemius muscles were measured bilaterally with surface electromyography.

RESULTS:

In the toes-up movements, subjects with LBP were significantly less likely to activate their rectus abdominus muscles (P=.02), and they were more likely to exhibit asymmetric muscle activation in the smaller forward movements (odds ratio=4.1, P=.03). The latter result appears to be driven by asymmetric contraction of the erector spinae and rectus abdominus.

CONCLUSIONS:

Significantly more subjects with LBP than control subjects exhibited absent firing of trunk muscles during 2 of the 5 footplate perturbations. These results suggest an abnormality of the neuromuscular loop and may represent altered proprioception.

PMID:
12048661
DOI:
10.1053/apmr.2002.32826
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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