Muscle activation during exercises to improve trunk stability in men with low back pain

  • Hubley-Kozey C
  • Vezina M
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Objectives: To evaluate the relative activation amplitudes from 3 abdominal and 2 trunk extensor muscle sites of persons with low back pain (LBP) performing the pelvic-tilt, the abdominal-hollowing, and level 1 of the trunk stability test (TST) exercises and to compare the activation amplitudes among muscle sites and exercises. Design: A prospective, comparative, repeated-measures design. Setting: Motion analysis research laboratory. Participants: Fourteen men with LBP (mean duration, 8y; mean age ± standard deviation, 39±5y). Interventions: Subjects performed 3 exercises in random order while surface electromyograms were recorded from 5 muscle sites: lower and upper rectus abdominus, external oblique, erector spinae, and multifidus. The exercises were divided into 2 phases: a movement phase and a stabilization phase. The root-mean-square (RMS) electromyographic amplitude for each phase was calculated and normalized to the highest RMS amplitude from a series of 4 exercises, which attempted to elicit maximal voluntary isometric contractions (MVICs) for each muscle. A 2-factor, repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) tested the muscle by exercise interaction and the 2 main effects for each phase separately. Main Outcome Measures: Normalized RMS amplitude was the main dependent variable. The ensemble-average profiles for each muscle were calculated to examine the phasing of activation throughout the exercises. Results: The ANOVA revealed a statistically significant muscle-by-exercise interaction (P

Author-supplied keywords

  • Electromyography
  • Exercise therapy
  • Low back pain
  • Muscles
  • Rehabilitation

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