Content » Vol 17, Issue 1

Original report

Intra-abdominal Pressure and Trunk Muscle Activity During Lifting. II. Chronic Low-Back Patients

B Hemborg, U Moritz
DOI: 10.2340/165019778517513

Abstract

The aim of this study was to compare trunk muscle strength and intra-abdominal pressure during lifting in low-back patients and in healthy controls. Twenty male workers with 2-18 year history (median 5.5 years) of low-back pain went through strength tests of trunk flexion and extension and a series of standardized lifts. The intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) and the EMG activity of the oblique abdominal muscles and of the erector spinae muscles were recorded. The results were compared with those in 20 healthy men exposed to similar loads at work and at leisure. The low-back patients had reduced abdominal muscle strength (-25%) compared with the healthy controls. The IAP during lifting was the same in the two groups despite the difference in abdominal muscle strength. The trunk extension strength was the same in the two groups. The oblique abdominal muscles were only moderately activated during lifting (5-15% of maximum activity with 25 kg) both in low-back patients and in healthy controls. The erector spinae muscle was strongly activated during lifting (40-60% of maximum activity with 25 kg) both in low-back patients and in healthy controls. During backlifting the duration of erector spinae activity varied. Back patients had extended activity compared with the healthy controls. Stiffness seemed to affect the duration of activity in both groups. The oblique abdominal muscles seem to be of no decisive importance to the IAP.

Lay Abstract

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