Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation - Volume 29, issue 2
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Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation is a journal whose main focus is to present relevant information about the interdisciplinary approach to musculoskeletal rehabilitation for clinicians who treat patients with back and musculoskeletal pain complaints. It will provide readers with both 1) a general fund of knowledge on the assessment and management of specific problems and 2) new information considered to be state-of-the-art in the field. The intended audience is multidisciplinary as well as multi-specialty.
In each issue clinicians can find information which they can use in their patient setting the very next day. Manuscripts are provided from a range of health care providers including those in physical medicine, orthopedic surgery, rheumatology, neurosurgery, physical therapy, radiology, osteopathy, chiropractic and nursing on topics ranging from chronic pain to sports medicine. Diagnostic decision trees and treatment algorithms are encouraged in each manuscript. Controversial topics are discussed in commentaries and rebuttals. Associated areas such as medical-legal, worker's compensation and practice guidelines are included.
The journal publishes original research papers, review articles, programme descriptions and cast studies. Letters to the editors, commentaries, and editorials are also welcomed. Manuscripts are peer reviewed. Constructive critiques are given to each author. Suggestions for thematic issues and proposed manuscripts are welcomed.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Hip osteoarthritis (OA) is a major cause of morbidity. Rehabilitation for this population focuses on strengthening the hip muscles, particularly the abductors, however the deficit in function of these muscles is unclear. OBJECTIVES: To review the evidence for the differences in structure and function of hip abductors (gluteus medius and minimus and tensor fascia lata) in hip OA. METHODS: A systematic review was conducted using MEDLINE, AMED, CINAHL and SportDISCUS, from the earliest date to September 2013. Studies that compared hip OA patients with controls, or the unaffected contralateral hip were included.…Studies needed to report data on an outcome related to gross gluteal muscle function. RESULTS: An initial yield of 141 studies was reduced to 22 after application of inclusion/exclusion criteria. Meta-analysis confirmed greater hip abductor strength in the control group (standardized mean difference = SMD -0.93, 95%CI -1.70 to -0.16) and the unaffected limb (SMD -0.26, 95%CI -0.48 to -0.04). Meta-analyses showed no differences in muscle size either between groups or limbs. Few electromyography studies have been reported and meta-analysis was not possible. CONCLUSION: Hip abductor strength is reduced in OA patients when compared to healthy controls and to the unaffected limb. Data on muscle size and activity is limited.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) and hemiplegia are at risk of fractures partly due to decreased bone mineral density with relation to the low levels of vitamin D. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to evaluate the vitamin D profile of patients with SCI and post-stroke hemiplegia. METHODS: 25(OH)D levels of patients with SCI and hemiplegia were obtained from the electronic medical record database and compared with age- and sex-matched non-disabled controls. Furthermore, the effect of Functional Ambulation Category (FAC), American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) level and Brunnstrom's recovery stage,…on vitamin D insufficiency, was studied. RESULTS: The study sample consisted of 173 individuals (118 patients and 55 controls). Vitamin D levels and sufficiency rates of the neurologically disabled patients was significantly lower than that of controls (p= 0.000 and p= 0.000, respectively). However, there was no difference between patients with SCI and hemiplegia regarding the 25(OH)D levels and vitamin D insufficiency (p= 0.303 and p= 0.952, respectively). There were no statistically significant differences in vitamin D status by American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) level and Brunnstrom's score. However, regression analysis revealed that vitamin D insufficiency rate of non-functionally ambulatory (FAC = 0-2) patients was higher than that of functionally ambulatory (FAC = 3-5) ones (p= 0.044). CONCLUSIONS: Vitamin D status of patients with neurological disabilities was lower than that of controls. Non-functionally ambulatory patients had higher vitamin D insufficiency rate than functionally ambulatory patients. Preventative measures including adequate supplementation of vitamin D should be directed to neurologically disabled subjects, particularly those with non-functional ambulation.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Decrease of physiological curvatures of the spine can lead to back pain. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to compare the curvatures of the spine and body posture parameters in three positions: relaxed standing, relaxed sitting, corrected sitting. METHODS: The study included 40 healthy persons aged 18-32 years (mean 24.7 ± 2.3), with body height 152-195 cm (mean 171.8 ± 9.3), weight 47-115 kg (mean 66.4 ± 13.7), BMI 17.9-32.5 kg/m2 (mean 22.3 ± 3.0). The study was performed using the photogrammetric method. RESULTS:…After changing the position from relaxed standing to relaxed sitting, significant decrease of the inclination of the thoracolumbar region, the thoracic kyphosis depth and the lumbar lordosis depth were observed. Lumbar lordosis angle increased significantly. After the sitting position correction, the inclination of the upper thoracic and thoracolumbar region decreased, and the depth of thoracic kyphosis and lumbar lordosis increased. CONCLUSIONS: - In the relaxed sitting position, the lumbar lordosis was significantly smaller than in the standing position. - A change from the standing to the sitting position results in flattening of thoracic kyphosis. - The corrected sitting position does not adequately correct the spinal curvatures.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Most of the EMG analysis algorithms developed to date don't detect the whole sequence of rhythmic and subtle changes that take place during the process of trunk stabilization. Indeed, the few recent methods that are capable of assessing these important EMG characteristics are highly complex and not accessible in most applied clinic contexts. OBJECTIVE: To validate and disseminate a software program suitable for detecting multiple and relatively small EMG bursts during a trunk stabilization response. METHODS: Ninety EMG recordings randomly selected from 50 individuals (24 with chronic low back pain) were…analysed by our algorithm based on means and standard deviations and an experienced examiner (as a gold standard). Concordance, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value were considered to analyse reliability. RESULTS: Results showed a high degree of concordance between the two methods (87.2%), high sensitivity and specificity rates (79.5 and 89.2%), a moderate-low positive predicted value (66.9%) and a high negative predicted value (94.4%). CONCLUSION: The program provided is flexible and useful to detect EMG activity. The selected parameters of the program were able to detect onset/offset EMG bursts and were valid for the purpose of this study with a small tendency to over-detect bursts.
Abstract: BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Orthopaedic manual therapy (OMT) should be based not only on the best available evidence but also on patient values and clinician expertise. Low back pain (LBP) is a complex issue as the majority of people who suffer from LBP cannot be given a specific diagnosis based on imaging studies but kinematic analyses appear to be useful to determine dysfunctional patterns. In physical therapy, various forms of OMT are currently used to manage LBP and there is growing evidence for its use. The underlying principles of OMT are to treat neuro-musculo-skeletal disorders, the aim of which is…to reduce pain, as well as improve movement and function. Manual physical therapists use a range of treatment approaches including passive techniques (``hands on'') as well as different active techniques (``hands off'') and communication skills. Systems of stratification are available for classification of people with LBP into specific sub-groups (with sub-group specific OMT intervention). This approach has been shown to be more efficient than generic treatment, although subgroups are not mutually exclusive. Various mechanisms of action are reported in the literature concerning OMT effects. These effects may be biomechanical, neurophysiological and psychological. Moreover, it is essential that the treatment, regardless of the concept of OMT, is carried out on the basis of a systematic and valid clinical examination protocol aimed to correctly classify LBP. The use of pain provocative tests during combined movement examination provides confidence that examination findings are valid and can therefore be confidently used in clinical practice to manage patient. The integrative approach presented in this article is a mix of previously developed classification systems (i.e. based on pain mechanisms, prognosis, treatment responsiveness) and new tools, as kinematic analyses for LBP, and a novel validated combined movements examination CONCLUSION: As LBP is a complex and multidimensional problem, the integrative approach may help clinicians and researchers to better understand and then to treat patients with non-specific LBP. The efficacy of OMT treatments using an integrative approach in specific patients subgroups should be objectively analyzed according to validated kinematic analyses in future studies.
Keywords: Orthopedic manual therapy, low back pain, evidence based, classification systems, stratification care, kinematic analysis, integrative approach
Abstract: BACKGROUND: There was controversy in finding of studies related pelvic floor muscle (PFM) rehabilitation of subjects with low back pain (LBP), while this issue is very important for treatment of subjects with LBP. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate PFM contraction in three conditions of alone and with abdominal hollowing (AH) or abdominal bracing (AB) maneuvers in subjects with and without chronic LBP. METHODS: Subjects were divided into two groups: subjects with LBP (N = 25) and without LBP (N = 27). PFM contraction alone and during contraction with AH…or AB maneuvers was measured. The amount of bladder base movement was measured as an indicator of PFM activity. RESULTS: There were no differences in PFM activity between subjects with and without chronic LBP, when PFM contracted alone (P = 0.60), contracted with AH (P= 0.12) and AB maneuver (P = 0.54). Our data revealed that contraction of the PFM alone produce greater displacement of the bladder base than contraction of the PFM with AH (P = 0.005) or AB maneuver (P = 0.001) in both groups. However, no significant difference was found between contraction of the PFM with AH and AB maneuver in individuals with LBP (P = 0.31). CONCLUSION: It seems that PFM contraction alone is more effective than PFM contraction with AH or AB maneuvers in lifting the pelvic floor in subjects with and without LBP.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The flexion-relaxation phenomenon (FRP) in standing is a specific and sensitive diagnostic tool for low back pain. Seated flexion as an alternative could be beneficial for certain populations, yet the behavior of the trunk extensors during seated maximum flexion compared to standing flexion remains unclear. OBJECTIVE: Compare FRP occurrences and spine angles between seated and standing flexion postures in three levels of the erector spinae muscles. METHODS: Thirty-one participants free of back pain performed seated and standing maximum trunk flexion. Electromyographical signals were recorded from the bilateral lumbar (L3 ), lower-thoracic (T9…), and upper-thoracic (T4 ) erector spinae and assessed for the occurrence of FRP. Spine angles corresponding to FRP onset and cessation were determined, and FRP occurrences and angles were compared between posture and muscle. RESULTS: FRP occurrence was similar in standing and seated maximum flexion across all muscles, with the lumbar muscles showing the greatest consistency. Standing FRP onset and cessation angles were consistently greater than the corresponding seated FRP angles. CONCLUSION: Considering the similar number of FRP occurrences, seated maximum flexion may constitute an objective criterion for low back pain diagnosis. Future work should seek to confirm the utility of this test in individuals with low back pain.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: It is theorized that increased dynamic knee valgus relates to decreased hip posterolateral muscle strength. OBJECTIVE: The aim here was to assess the relationship between the frontal plane projection angle (FPPA) of the knee and hip and trunk muscle strength in women with and without patellofemoral pain (PFP). METHODS: The sample comprised 43 women: Patellofemoral Pain Group (PPG, n = 22) and Control Group (CG, n = 21). Muscle strength for hip abduction, extension, external rotation and lateral core were measured using a handheld dynamometer. The FPPA was recorded during step-down.…RESULTS: The PPG showed a deficit for hip muscles torque and increased FPPA (P < 0.05). Negative correlation of the FPPA-Peak was found in the CG for the hip abductor (r = -0.31) and posterolateral complex (r = -0.32) (P < 0.05). In the PPG, the FPPA-Peak showed a moderate negative correlation to the torque of external rotators and posterolateral hip muscles, although this correlation did not reach statistical significance. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that women with patellofemoral pain present greater dynamic knee valgus and hip muscle weakness. Abductor and posterolateral hip muscles strength are associated with increased FPPA only in the pain-free population.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The Sorensen test is commonly used to assess back muscle endurance capacity. However, the clinical value of this test, requiring compensation of the entire upper body mass, is limited if pain occurs. Therefore, a test variant using only portions of upper body mass could be an alternative. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to determine fatigue characteristics in lumbar muscles during a modified Sorensen test utilizing only 50% of the upper body mass and asked if localization-related effects of surface electrodes in the assessment of lumbar muscle fatigue should be considered. METHODS: Thirty-two young…(20-29 years) symptom-free men were enrolled and asked to maintain only 50% upper body mass for 10 minutes. Fatigue characteristics were bilaterally derived from four different lumbar levels using Surface EMG. Side-specific and SEMG parameter-independent repeated measures (four lumbar levels, nine time points) analyses of variance were conducted. RESULTS: All participants were able to complete the test. Over time, a spatial effect of fatigue-related amplitude alterations at the respective segments could be observed. CONCLUSIONS: By using this modified Sorensen test, muscular fatigue can be evoked. Electrophysiological assessment of lumbar fatigue should consider spatial differences.
Keywords: SEMG, lumbar fatigue, spatial, back muscles
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Dry needling of muscles is mainly used for the management of pain in musculoskeletal disorders. Yet, the association between dry needling and motor performance of muscles is still unclear. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the immediate effect of dry needling on lumbar multifidus muscles' function in healthy subjects. METHODS: Twenty-eight volunteers were divided randomly into: study group (13 subjects) and control group (15 subjects) who underwent no intervention. Study group received dry needling to the lumbar multifidus muscles using a deep insertion technique with 4 needles (2 on each side of the spine). The…needles were left in situ for 10 minutes. Ultrasound imaging was used to measure multifidus muscles' thickness, pre and post-procedure during rest in a prone position and during contralateral active straight leg extension. RESULTS: Significant difference was found in the percentage of change of muscle activation post needling between groups on the right side at level L4-5. A slight increase in the percentage of muscle activity, post procedure was observed in the dry needling group compared with the control group, although not significant in other segments examined. CONCLUSION: An improvement of back muscle function following dry needling procedure in healthy individuals was found. This implies that dry needling might stimulate motor nerve fibers and as such increase muscle activity.
Keywords: Ultrasound imaging, acupuncture, back muscles, spine, muscle strength