The effectiveness of spinal manipulation at L3 on lumbar paraspinal extensor muscle endurance in asymptomatic males
Thiel, Gregory Justin
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Background Spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) is a commonly used therapeutic modality. It has been shown that neuromuscular reflexes are elicited during spinal manipulation resulting in changes in the surrounding muscle tonicity and seen as changes in surface electromyography. Despite this little is known about the effect that SMT may have on muscle function. Increased maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) of the paraspinal muscles has been observed following lumbar SMT compared to a control and sham treatment; however its effect on muscle endurance has not been investigated. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of lumbar SMT compared to a placebo treatment on lumbar extensor muscle endurance in asymptomatic individuals. Method This study was a quantitative double blinded, pre-test and post-test placebo controlled experimental trial. Forty asymptomatic participants were randomly allocated to one of two treatment groups. One group received a single SMT applied to the L3 vertebrae and the other received the pre-load force of the SMT but no thrust. Subjective (a self-report of pain/discomfort while performing the Biering-Sorensen test) and objective [surface electromyography (sEMG), paraspinal muscle endurance time and lumbar spine range of motion] measurements were taken pre- and post-intervention. The latest version of SPSS version (IBM SPSS Inc.) was used to analyse the data. A p-value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Independent t-tests were used to compare means and two-way factor ANOVA (for repeated measures) was used to compare the change in the two time points between the two treatment groups (intervention and control). RESULTS There were no statistically significant differences between the intervention and placebo groups in terms of subjective reports of pain/discomfort and objective evidence of surface EMG readings, paraspinal muscle endurance time and lumbar spine range of motion.