Lower back pain is a common symptom potentially associated with skeletal muscle dysfunction. The purpose of this study was to evaluate endurance in the lower back muscles of healthy participants using accelerometer-based mechanomyography. Methods: Young healthy subjects (N = 7) were tested. Surface electrodes and a tri-axial accelerometer were placed over the erector spinae muscle along the T11–L1 Vertebrae. Stimulation was for 3 min each at 2, 4, and 6 Hz, and changes in acceleration were used to calculate an endurance index (EI). Reproducibility of the endurance index measurements was tested on two separate days. Wrist flexor and vastus lateralis muscles were tested for comparison. Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) was used to measure muscle oxygen levels (O2
Hb) (N = 5). EI was 70.3 + 13.4, 32.6 + 8.4, and 19.2 + 6.2% for 2, 4, 6 Hz, respectively. The coefficients of variation were 9.8, 13.9, and 20.3% for 2, 4, 6 Hz, respectively. EI values were lower in the erector spinae muscles compared to the arm and the leg (p
< 0.05). O2
Hb values were 86.4 + 10.9% at rest and were 77.2 + 15.5, 84.3 + 14.1, and 84.1 + 18.9% for 2, 4, 6 Hz, respectively (p
> 0.05, all comparisons). An endurance index can be obtained from the lower back erectors muscles that is reproducible and not influenced by voluntary effort or muscle oxygen levels.
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