Changes in electromyographic activity of trunk muscles within the sub-acute phase for individuals deemed recovered from a low back injury
Butler, Heather L
Kozey, John W
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Evidence indicates that previous low back injury (LBI) is a strong predictor for re-injury. The purpose of this study was to examine whether neuromuscular patterns remain altered in a LBI group who were deemed recovered. Surface electromyograms from 12-abdominal and 12-back extensors sites and motion variables were recorded from 33 LBI individuals (sub-acute phase) and 54 asymptomatic controls. Pain-related variables were recorded and a clinical assessment performed for LBI participants. Subjects performed a symmetrical lift and replace task in two reaches. Pattern recognition techniques were applied to normalized activation amplitude patterns to extract key recruitment strategies. Mixed model ANOVAs tested for effects (p < 0.05). Despite similar task performance, significantly (p < 0.05) different recruitment strategies were observed for the LBI group. There were higher activation amplitudes for LBI subjects in all muscles (except posterior external oblique) and greater co-activation between abdominal and back extensor sites compared to controls. Local abdominal and back extensor sites showed altered responses to increased physical demands in the LBI group. Despite outcomes indicating recovery, the LBI group had altered neuromuscular patterns compared to asymptomatic controls supporting that residual alterations remain following recovery.
Butler, Heather L., Cheryl L. Hubley-Kozey, and John W. Kozey. "Changes in electromyographic activity of trunk muscles within the sub-acute phase for individuals deemed recovered from a low back injury." Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology 23.2 (2013): 369-377. doi:10.1016/j.jelekin.2012.10.012