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Comparison of Trunk Proprioception Between Patients With Low Back Pain and Healthy Controls

      Abstract

      Lee AS, Cholewicki J, Reeves NP, Zazulak BT, Mysliwiec LW. Comparison of trunk proprioception between patients with low back pain and healthy controls.

      Objective

      To determine whether proprioceptive impairments exist in patients with low back pain (LBP). We hypothesized that patients with LBP would exhibit larger trunk proprioception errors than healthy controls.

      Design

      Case-control study.

      Setting

      University laboratory.

      Participants

      24 patients with nonspecific LBP and 24 age-matched healthy controls.

      Interventions

      Not applicable.

      Main Outcome Measures

      We measured trunk proprioception in all 3 anatomical planes using motion perception threshold, active repositioning, and passive repositioning tests.

      Results

      LBP patients had significantly greater motion perception threshold than controls (P<.001) (1.3±0.9° vs 0.8±0.6°). Furthermore, all subjects had the largest motion perception threshold in the transverse plane (P<.001) (1.2±0.7° vs 1.0±0.8° for all other planes averaged). There was no significant difference between LBP and healthy control groups in the repositioning tasks. Errors in the active repositioning test were significantly smaller than in the passive repositioning test (P=.032) (1.9±1.2° vs 2.3±1.4°).

      Conclusions

      These findings suggest that impairments in proprioception may be detected in patients with LBP when assessed with a motion perception threshold measure.

      Key Words

      List of Abbreviations:

      ICC (intraclass correlation coefficient), LBP (low back pain)
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