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Healthcare 2016, 4(1), 4;

Relationships between Paraspinal Muscle Activity and Lumbar Inter-Vertebral Range of Motion

1,2,†,* and 1,†
Institute for Musculoskeletal Research and Clinical Implementation, Anglo-European College of Chiropractic, Parkwood Road, Bournemouth BH5 2DF, UK
Faculty of Science and Technology, Bournemouth University, Fern Barrow, Poole BH12 5B, UK
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Robert J. Gatchel
Received: 2 December 2015 / Revised: 21 December 2015 / Accepted: 24 December 2015 / Published: 5 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low Back Pain: Recent Advances And Perspectives)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1098 KB, uploaded 5 January 2016]   |  


Control of the lumbar spine requires contributions from both the active and passive sub-systems. Identifying interactions between these systems may provide insight into the mechanisms of low back pain. However, as a first step it is important to investigate what is normal. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships between the lumbar inter-vertebral range of motion and paraspinal muscle activity during weight-bearing flexion in healthy controls using quantitative fluoroscopy (QF) and surface electromyography (sEMG). Contemporaneous lumbar sEMG and QF motion sequences were recorded during controlled active flexion of 60° using electrodes placed over Longissimus thoracis pars thoracis (TES), Longissimus thoracis pars lumborum (LES), and Multifidus (LMU). Normalised root mean square (RMS) sEMG amplitude data were averaged over five epochs, and the change in amplitude between epochs was calculated. The sEMG ratios of LMU/LES LMU/TES and LES/TES were also determined. QF was used to measure the maximum inter-vertebral range of motion from L2-S1, and correlation coefficients were calculated between sEMG amplitude variables and these measurements. Intra- and inter-session sEMG amplitude repeatability was also assessed for all three paraspinal muscles. The sEMG amplitude measurements were highly repeatable, and sEMG amplitude changes correlated significantly with L4-5 and L5-S1 IV-RoMmax (r = −0.47 to 0.59). The sEMG amplitude ratio of LES/TES also correlated with L4-L5 IV-RoMmax (r = −0.53). The relationships found may be important when considering rehabilitation for low back pain. View Full-Text
Keywords: spine kinematics; fluoroscopy; surface electromyography; reliability; agreement spine kinematics; fluoroscopy; surface electromyography; reliability; agreement

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du Rose, A.; Breen, A. Relationships between Paraspinal Muscle Activity and Lumbar Inter-Vertebral Range of Motion. Healthcare 2016, 4, 4.

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