Have Studies that Measure Lumbar Kinematics and Muscle Activity Concurrently during Sagittal Bending Improved Understanding of Spinal Stability and Sub-System Interactions? A Systematic Review

Alister Du Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

In order to improve understanding of the complex interactions between spinal sub-systems (i.e., the passive (ligaments, discs, fascia and bones), the active (muscles and tendons) and the neural control systems), it is necessary to take a dynamic approach that incorporates the measurement of multiple systems concurrently. There are currently no reviews of studies that have investigated dynamic sagittal bending movements using a combination of electromyography (EMG) and lumbar kinematic measurements. As such it is not clear how understanding of spinal stability concepts has advanced with regards to this functional movement of the spine. The primary aim of this review
was therefore to evaluate how such studies have contributed to improved understanding of lumbar spinal stability mechanisms. PubMed and Cochrane databases were searched using combinations of the keywords related to spinal stability and sagittal bending tasks, using strict inclusion and exclusion criteria and adhering to PRISMA guidelines. Whilst examples of the interactions between the passive and active sub-systems were shown, typically small sample sizes meant that results were not generalizable. The majority of studies used regional kinematic measurements, and whilst this was appropriate in terms of individual study aims, the studies could not provide insight into
sub-system interaction at the level of the spinal motion segment. In addition, the heterogeneity in methodologies made comparison between studies difficult. The review suggests that since Panjabi’s
seminal spinal control papers, only limited advancement in the understanding of these theories has been provided by the studies under review, particularly at an inter-segmental level. This lack of
progression indicates a requirement for new research approaches that incorporate multiple system measurements at a motion segment level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalHealthcare
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sep 2018

Keywords

  • spinal stability
  • spinal motion
  • electromyography
  • low back pain
  • flexion

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