Kinetic Integrations Blog

Direction of Motion With Low Back Pain

After Cresswell study on abdominal pressure, the Australians Hodges and Richardson studied the activation pattern of the trunk musculature associated with upper extremity movement. Subjects without low back pain (LBP), showed that the TrA was the first muscle activated and contracted before arm movement, regardless of the direction of motion. The other investigated muscles tended to have firing patterns that were distinct for the direction of motion. The investigators suggested thereby that the TrA provides stability for the lumbar spine in anticipation to movement. Out of this conclusion, the term “feedforward mechanism” was born in the world of low back pain and muscle activation mechanisms.

Interesting enough though, individuals with LBP, showed that the contraction of the TrA was significantly delayed and followed direction-specific patterns. Hodges and Richardson concluded that this is indicates a potential for decreased spinal stability and motor control problems. Later, similar muscle firing patterns were noted when lower extremity movements were applied.

In Sum

The above studies basically revolutionized on how to train or rehabilitate our spinal stabilizers. Suddenly healthcare providers ans later on exercise professionals were asking their clients to activate their TrA by sucking in their belly button.

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