ABSTRACT: Objectives: To investigate the electromyographic (EMG) trunk muscle activity during a low-load instrumented axial rotation exercise (Tergumed) and the relevance of increasing resistance. Setting: Evaluation was done in a training centre in a university hospital. Participants: Thirty healthy subjects without musculoskeletal or neuromuscular complaints. Main outcome measures: The normalized (as a percentage of maximal voluntary isometric contractions (MVIC)) EMG activity of 14 abdominal and back muscles were investigated during dynamic trunk rotation exertions at 30%, 50% and 70% of maximum mean force (MMF). Results: During the low-load (30% MMF) rotation exercise, the internal abdominal oblique muscle reached activity levels of 30% of MVIC. All the examined back muscles and the external abdominal obliques reached activity levels of 60% of MVIC. Increasing the resistance during seated axial rotation, created significantly higher relative muscle activity levels for all trunk muscles. Conclusions: The results of the present study indicate that increasing resistance to 50% and 70% MMF during seated axial rotation in a Tergumed training device consistently created higher relative activity levels in all trunk muscles. In the vulnerable spine undergoing rehabilitation the results suggest that training at 30% MMF may be sufficient.
Physical Therapy in Sport 01/2007; 8:7-13. · 1.04 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Previous studies have demonstrated that sciatica patients have poorer postural control than healthy controls and that postural control remains unchanged 3 months after lumbar discectomy in sciatica patients. The aims of the current study were to investigate whether static balance control recovers in pain-free discectomy patients long-term after lumbar discectomy. Next is to determine whether static balance responses of asymptomatic and symptomatic lumbar discectomy patients differed from each other and from healthy controls. In addition, the influence of the extent of disc resection (unilateral/bilateral removal) and the side of operation on static balance control were investigated.
Fifteen pain-free lumbar discectomy patients, 23 lumbar discectomy patients with residual pain and 72 controls performed unilateral stance tasks with eyes open and eyes closed on a force plate were taken up for the investigation. Three repetitions of a 10 s unilateral stance test were performed on each leg. Postural sway was determined. Patients were divided into three age groups.
In the eyes open condition, there was no significant difference between postural sway of pain-free lumbar discectomy patients and controls (P=0.68), whereas balance of patients with pain was significantly worse than in controls (P=0.003). In the eyes closed condition, the sway in both groups of lumbar discectomy patients was significantly worse than in controls (pain-free P=0.009/painful P<0.001). No significant differences were found in postural sway between patients with unilateral and bilateral disc resection. In unilateral stance on the leg of the operated side, centre of gravity sway was not significantly different in the eyes open condition compared to the eyes closed condition, whereas in stance on the leg of the non-operated side, postural sway was significantly lower in the eyes open condition compared to the eyes closed condition. In both conditions, postural sway in the age group of 50-65 years was significantly higher than in the age groups of 30-39 years (eyes open P=0.005; eyes closed P<0.001) and 40-49 years (eyes open P=0.002; eyes closed P=0.006). There was no significant difference between the age group of 30-39 years and the age group of 40-49 years (P=0.51).
As for long-term following lumbar discectomy, there is no complete recovery of postural control. Patients seem to develop visual compensation mechanisms for underlying sensory-motor deficits, which are, however, sufficient in case of pain relief only. Further study is needed to determine the cause of the balance disturbances in lumbar discectomy patients.
European Spine Journal 05/2006; 15(4):423-32. · 1.97 Impact Factor
Trunk bridging exercises are often used as therapeutic exercises for lumbopelvic stabilization. These exercises focus on the retraining of muscle coordination patterns in which optimal ratios between local segmental stabilizing and global torque producing muscle activity are assumed to be essential. However, a description of such ratios is lacking. The purpose of this study was to investigate both relative (as a percentage of maximal voluntary isometric contraction) muscle activity levels and ratios of local to global muscle activity, during bridging stabilization exercises.
Thirty healthy university students (15 men, 15 women) with a mean age of 19.6 year volunteered to perform 3 bridging exercises (single bridging, ball bridge and unilateral bridging). The surface electromyographic activity of different trunk muscles was evaluated on both sides.
During all bridging exercises, the ratio of the internal oblique to the rectus abdominis was very high due to minimal relative activity of the rectus abdominis. In general, the ratio of the internal/external abdominal oblique activity was about 1. However, during the unilateral bridging exercise, the ipsilateral internal/external abdominal oblique activity ratio was 2.79 as a consequence of the significant higher relative activity of the internal oblique compared to the external oblique. The relative muscle activity and the ratios of the back muscles demonstrated similar activity levels for all back muscles, resulting in ratios about 1.
Both the minimal relative activity of the rectus abdominis and the high internal oblique to the rectus abdominis activity ratio reported in the present study are in accordance with results of other trunk stabilization exercises. The relative muscle activity and the ratio of the abdominal obliques seem to alter depending on the task and the presumable need for stability. The findings concerning the relative muscle activity and the ratios of the back muscles support the assumption that during these bridging exercises, all back muscles contribute in a similar way to control spine positions and movements in a healthy population.
BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 01/2006;