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.

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Available from: Maury A. Nussbaum, Aug 08, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Local dynamic stability, quantified using the maximum finite-time Lyapunov exponent (λ max), and the muscular contributions to spine rotational stiffness can provide pertinent information regarding the neuromuscular control of the spine during movement tasks. The primary goal of the present study was to assess if experimental capsaicin-induced low back pain (LBP) affects spine stability and the neuromuscular control of repetitive trunk movements in a group of healthy participants with no history of LBP. Fourteen healthy males were recruited for this investigation. Each participant was asked to complete three trials (baseline, in pain, and recovery) of 35 cycles of a repetitive trunk flexion/extension task at a rate of 0.25 Hz. Local dynamic stability and the muscular contributions to lumbar spine rotational stiffness were significantly impaired during the LBP trial compared to the baseline trial (p < 0.05); however, there was a trend for these measures to recover after a 1 h rest. This study provides evidence that capsaicin can effectively induce LBP, thereby altering spine rotational stiffness and local dynamic stability. Future research should directly compare the effects capsaicin-induced LBP and intramuscular/intraligamentous induced LBP on these same variables.
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