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

Emily M. Miller, Babak Bazrgari, Maury A. Nussbaum, Michael L. Madigan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-805
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Volume46
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 22 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is dedicated to the late Dr. Kevin P. Granata. This work was supported by awards R01AR046111 from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) , and R01OH008504 from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) . Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH or CDC.

Keywords

  • Exercise
  • Low back pain
  • Reflex
  • Trunk stiffness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Rehabilitation
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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