Effects of exercise-induced low back pain on intrinsic trunk stiffness and paraspinal muscle reflexes

Virginia Tech-Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, Blacksburg, VA, USA.
Journal of Biomechanics (Impact Factor: 2.75). 11/2012; 46(4). DOI: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2012.11.023
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to (1) compare trunk neuromuscular behavior between individuals with no history of low back pain (LBP) and individuals who experience exercise-induced LBP (eiLBP) when pain free, and (2) investigate changes in trunk neuromuscular behavior with eiLBP. Seventeen young adult males participated including eight reporting recurrent, acute eiLBP and nine control participants reporting no history of LBP. Intrinsic trunk stiffness and paraspinal muscle reflex delay were determined in both groups using sudden trunk flexion position perturbations 1-2 days following exercise when the eiLBP participants were experiencing an episode of LBP (termed post-exercise) and 4-5 days following exercise when eiLBP had subsided (termed post-recovery). Post-recovery, when the eiLBP group was experiencing minimal LBP, trunk stiffness was 26% higher in the eiLBP group compared to the control group (p=0.033) and reflex delay was not different (p=0.969) between groups. Trunk stiffness did not change (p=0.826) within the eiLBP group from post-exercise to post-recovery, but decreased 22% within the control group (p=0.002). Reflex delay decreased 11% within the eiLBP group from post-exercise to post-recovery (p=0.013), and increased 15% within the control group (p=0.006). Although the neuromuscular mechanisms associated with eiLBP and chronic LBP may differ, these results suggest that previously-reported differences in trunk neuromuscular behavior between individuals with chronic LBP and healthy controls reflect a combination of inherent differences in neuromuscular behavior between these individuals as well as changes in neuromuscular behavior elicited by pain.


Available from: Maury A. Nussbaum, Aug 08, 2014
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    • "This paradigm minimizes alterations in the contribution of the passive subsystem , by minimizing the post-perturbation trunk displacement. It also enables distinguishing volitional from reflexive responses, by limiting response time to be shorter than minimum reflex delay (Moorhouse and Granata, 2007; Bazrgari et al., 2011; Hendershot et al., 2011; Miller et al., 2013; Muslim et al., 2013). "
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