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Electromyogr Clin Neurophysiol. 2008 Apr-May;48(3-4):185-92.

Low back muscle fatigue during Sørensen endurance test in patients with chronic low back pain: relationship between electromyographic spectral compression and anthropometric characteristics.

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Institute of Exercise Biology and Physiotherapy, Centre of Behavioural and Health Sciences, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia.


This study assessed low back muscle fatigue during Sørensen back endurance test in chronic low back pain (CLBP) patients and healthy controls, and investigated relationship between the erector spinae muscle fatigability and subject's anthropometric characteristics. Four groups (n = 10 per group) of middle-aged (47-52-year-old) subjects participated: 1) female CLBP patients, 2) healthy female subjects, 3) male CLBP patients and 4) healthy male subjects. Subjects performed Sørensen back endurance test until exhaustion, while electromyographic (EMG) power spectrum median frequency compression over time (MF slope) as indicator of the erector spinae muscle fatigability, and endurance time were recorded. The endurance time was shorter (p < 0.05) in male CLBP patients compared to the healthy male and female subjects. No significant gender differences in endurance time were found in CLBP patients and in healthy subjects. EMG power spectrum MF slope did not differ significantly in CLBP patients and in healthy subjects. However, MF slope was higher (p < 0.05) in healthy male than in female subjects. Body mass and BMI correlated moderately positively with MF slope (r = 0.40-0.67) in all measured groups. We conclude that male CLBP patients had lower back extensor muscle isometric endurance compared to the healthy subjects of both genders, whereas no gender differences in isometric endurance were found in CLBP patients and in healthy subjects. Healthy male subjects had greater lumbar erector spinae muscle fatigability compared to the healthy female subjects. Subjects with higher body mass and body mass index fatigued faster during Sørensen back endurance test.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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