Multifidus & Back Pain Recurrences

Reference:MacDonald D, Moseley GL, Hodges PW. People with recurrent low back pain respond differently to trunk loading despite remission from symptoms. Spine. 2010 Apr 1;35(7):818-24.

Low back injuries sometimes occur when a person does not anticipate a load applied to their spine. E.g. catching self from a fall, unexpected twist during a football game. It is the job of the deep and the superficial multifidus to immediately respond to trunk loading.

Could it be that some individuals suffer recurrent low back pain (LBP), because their lumbar extensors are no longer immediately firing after an unpredictable load?

This study compared lumbar multifidus EMG during various spine loading between people with and without recurrent unilateral LBP. The LBP subjects were symptom free/in remission at the time of the study.

Result:Compared to the subjects who had no history of LBP, those with a history of LBP had significantly less activation of their deep and their superficial multifidus muscles.

Clinical Relevance: Even when patients are in remission of their recurrent LBP, multifidus EMG during unpredictable loading is compromised.

(If you?ve had LBP, train your multifidus forever!)

Posted on: October 10, 2010

Categories: Lumbar Spine

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