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J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2013 Feb;23(1):173-81. doi: 10.1016/j.jelekin.2012.09.003. Epub 2012 Oct 15.

Altered trunk muscle coordination during rapid trunk flexion in people in remission of recurrent low back pain.

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1
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. roseline.dhooge@ugent.be

Abstract

People with a history of low back pain (LBP) are at high risk to encounter additional LBP episodes. During LBP remission, altered trunk muscle control has been suggested to negatively impact spinal health. As sudden LBP onset is commonly reported during trunk flexion, the aim of the current study is to investigate whether dynamic trunk muscle recruitment is altered in LBP remission. Eleven people in remission of recurrent LBP and 14 pain free controls performed cued trunk flexion during a loaded and unloaded condition. Electromyographic activity was recorded from paraspinal (lumbar and thoracic erector spinae, latissimus dorsi, deep and superficial multifidus) and abdominal muscles (obliquus internus, externus and rectus abdominis) with surface and fine-wire electrodes. LBP participants exhibited higher levels of co-contraction of flexor/extensor muscles, lower agonistic abdominal and higher antagonistic paraspinal muscle activity than controls, both when data were analyzed in grouped and individual muscle behavior. A sub-analysis in people with unilateral LBP (n = 6) pointed to opposing changes in deep and superficial multifidus in relation to the pain side. These results suggest that dynamic trunk muscle control is modified during LBP remission, and might possibly increase spinal load and result in earlier muscle fatigue due to intensified muscle usage. These negative consequences for spinal health could possibly contribute to recurrence of LBP.

PMID:
23079004
DOI:
10.1016/j.jelekin.2012.09.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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