Immediate effects of a single session of motor skill training on the lumbar movement pattern during a functional activity in people with low back pain: A repeated-measures study

Andrej V. Marich, Vanessa M. Lanier, Gretchen B. Salsich, Catherine E. Lang, Linda R. Van Dillen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background. People with low back pain (LBP) may display an altered lumbar movement pattern of early lumbar motion compared to people with healthy backs. Modifying this movement pattern during a clinical test decreases pain. It is unknown whether similar effects would be seen during a functional activity. Objective. The objective of this study was to examine the lumbar movement patterns before and after motor skill training, effects on pain, and characteristics that influenced the ability to modify movement patterns. Design. The design consisted of a repeated-measures study examining early-phase lumbar excursion in people with LBP during a functional activity test. Methods. Twenty-six people with chronic LBP received motor skill training, and 16 people with healthy backs were recruited as a reference standard. Twenty minutes of motor skill training to decrease early-phase lumbar excursion during the performance of a functional activity were used as a treatment intervention. Early-phase lumbar excursion was measured before and after training. Participants verbally reported increased pain, decreased pain, or no change in pain during performance of the functional activity test movement in relation to their baseline pain. The characteristics of people with LBP that influenced the ability to decrease early-phase lumbar excursion were examined. Results. People with LBP displayed greater early-phase lumbar excursion before training than people with healthy backs (LBP: mean = 11.2°, 95% CI = 9.3°-13.1°; healthy backs: mean = 7.1°, 95% CI = 5.8°-8.4°). Following training, the LBP group showed a decrease in the amount of early-phase lumbar excursion (mean change = 4.1°, 95% CI = 2.4°-5.8°); 91% of people with LBP reported that their pain decreased from baseline following training. The longer the duration of LBP (β = - 0.22) and the more early-phase lumbar excursion before training (β = - 0.82), the greater the change in early-phase lumbar excursion following training. Limitations. The long-term implications of modifying the movement pattern and whether the decrease in pain attained was clinically significant are unknown. Conclusions. People with LBP were able to modify their lumbar movement pattern and decrease their pain with the movement pattern within a single session of motor skill training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-615
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical therapy
Volume98
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2018

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