This is a prospective study of multifidus images with the objective of comparing the change of the cross-sectional area (CSA) of multifidus in subjects with and without chronic low back pain (LBP) at different postures. The results showed that in the control group, the CSA of multifidus increased from prone lying to upright standing and then gradually decreased from 25[degrees] to 45[degrees] forward stooping. However, a reverse pattern of the CSA changes was identified in patients with chronic LBP. The authors concluded that multifidus contracts maximally at upright standing in the normal group, while maximum contraction of the muscle occurs at 25[degrees] forward stooping in the patient group. The role of multifidus may be altered in the stabilization of the lumbar spine of chronic LBP patients.
Spine. 31(19):2258-2262, September 1, 2006.