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Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte

Print version ISSN 1517-8692

Abstract

KAWANO, Marcio Massao et al. Comparison of electromyographic fatigue of erector spinae muscles and angular kinematic of spine between individuals with and without low back pain. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 2008, vol.14, n.3, pp. 209-214. ISSN 1517-8692.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-86922008000300010.

Subjects with low back pain have reduction in strength and endurance of the erector spinae muscles. The assessment of the fatigue and the endurance of these muscles is important, once it has been reported that individuals with low back pain develop a deficit in physical conditioning which influences on trunk strength and function. Moreover, the relationship between back muscles fatigue and trunk forward flexion is still unclear. The aims of this study were to compare fatigue between individuals with and without low back pain and to correlate the muscles fatigue with the angle of trunk forward flexion. The low back pain group consisted of ten low back pain subjects. The control group was composed by ten subjects with similar physical characteristics and without low back pain. Initially, the trunk forward flexion was evaluated with the Whistance angular method. The erector spinae fatigue was assessed at L1 and L5 by surface electromyography on two loads: 50 and 75% of maximal voluntary isometric contraction. The results indicated that the low back pain group presented a lower strength output during maximal voluntary isometric contraction (P < 0.004). Although the low back pain group has presented greater values of fatigue, there is no statistically significant difference between groups at L1 and L5. The correlation between muscles fatigue and trunk forward flexion angle have shown poor to moderate values (between r = -0.58 to 0.51). The results suggest that both groups present fatigue, however the low back pain group presented greater values. Moreover, it is not possible to predict fatigue by analysis of the trunk forward flexion angle.

Keywords : electromyography; spectral analysis; fatigue; low back pain.

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