Low Back Pain Suppresses Preparatory and Triggered Upper-Limb Activation After Sudden Upper-Limb Loading.

Leinonen, Ville MD, PhD; Airaksinen, Minna BM; Taimela, Simo MD, PhD; Kankaanpaa, Markku MD, PhD; Kukka, Ari MD; Koivisto, Taina PT; Airaksinen, Olavi MD, PhD

The objective of this study was to assess the effect of chronic LBP on biceps brachii muscle activation during sudden upper-limb loading. Surface electromyographic recordings were made from the biceps brachii bilaterally from 22 control subjects without chronic LBP and 29 patients with chronic LBP. Electromyography was recorded during expected and unexpected limb loading, with the activation pattern recorded for analysis at 150 milliseconds before loading, and 3 consecutive 50 milliseconds periods following loading. The authors concluded that chronic LBP did not affect reflex activation of biceps brachii muscles but decreased preparatory and triggered reactions. They suggest that this finding indicates that back pain may disturb higher level information processing in motor control.

Spine. 32(5):E150-E155, March 1, 2007.

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