The immediate effect of thoraco-lumbar spinal manipulation compared to lower lumbar spinal manipulation on core muscle endurance and activity in patients with mechanical low back pain
Murray, Stuart M.
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Through the literature review it has become apparent that low back pain is a very real problem in most societies. It has been suggested that there is enough evidence to prove the relationship between low back pain and local muscle dysfunction and that focus in management of these patients should be the rehabilitation of these muscles by exercise. Literature suggests that optimal core muscle strength, control and endurance working synergistically with the rest of the neuromusculoskeletal system is necessary for lumbar spine stability . Arthrogenic Muscle Inhibition is caused by distension and/or damage of a joint and is thought to disable the muscle from contracting all its muscle fibres. When a joint is injured it is thought that AMI causes muscle weakness, which in turn hampers the rehabilitation process of that joint despite complete muscle integrity. Spinal manipulative therapy has been shown to alter the excitability of spinal muscle motor neurons due to the stimulation of mechanoreceptors in the joint capsules suggesting that SMT could be a means to remove this inhibitory action. The literature supports the hypothesis that a decrease in the neurological deficit caused by AMI may result in a faster recovery rate. Aims The aim of this study is to determine the immediate effect of thoraco-lumbar spinal manipulation compared to lower lumbar spinal manipulation on core muscle endurance and activity in patients with mechanical low back pain by assessing the correlation between the objective and subjective measures. Method A prospective, convenience sample with purpose allocation (pre /post) clinical trial was used as the sampling method. Thirty participants where placed in two groups, group one and group two, of fifteen people each. Group one underwent spinal v manipulative therapy between L4 and S1 spinal levels. Group two underwent spinal manipulative therapy in between T8 and L1 spinal levels. The objective and subjective testing was done pre- and post-intervention. The objective data was that of a surface EMG attached bilaterally over the internal oblique as well as a prone abdominal draw in biofeedback test. The subjective data included a pain numerical rating scale (0-100). Results The results showed to partially favour group two (thoraco-lumbar), in both increased endurance time that would prove that AMI does in fact inhibit the transversus abdominis and obliques internus, thus it would hinder the rehabilitative process. Some of the statistics where not in favour of the aims, as there was no difference in the effect of group one or two on the NRS, as both improved consistently. It would be recommended that use be made of fine-wire EMG for testing the activity in both the obliques internus and the transversus abdominis, which would allow for more consistent readings, thus adding strength to the research.