Impaired Ankle Proprioception In Individuals With Chronic Nonspecific Low Back Pain

Xinyi XU, Yujie Tong, Xiaochun Tian, Gordon Waddington, Roger Adams, Jeremy Witchalls, Doal El-ansary, Adrian Pranata, Jianhua Lin, Peijie Chen, Jia Han

Research output: Contribution to conference (non-published works)Poster


PURPOSE: Ankle proprioception plays a crucial role in balance control. Previous research indicates that individuals with chronic nonspecific low back pain (CNLBP) rely more on ankle than lumbar proprioception in maintaining balance compared to controls. This study aimed to explore if individuals with CNLBP demonstrated any difference in ankle proprioception compared to healthy controls.

METHODS: Twenty-six participants with no ankle injuries in the last 3 months volunteered in this case-control study. Thirteen CNLBP participants(9 Females, age 29.3±9.6yrs old) and 13 were healthy controls (6 Female, age 25.8±8.2yrs old). The Örebro Musculoskeletal Pain Questionnaire(OMPQ) and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) were administered for the CNLBP group. Left and right ankle proprioception was assessed by using the Active Movement Extent Discrimination Apparatus (AMEDA) in standing. To assess ankle proprioception, participants were required to actively invert their ankles to a physical stop and to discriminate between 4 possible ankle inversion angles(10°, 12°, 14° and 16°). The receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) was generated and the mean Area under the ROC Curve (AUC) was calculated to give each participant an ankle proprioceptive acuity score.

RESULTS: The mean proprioceptive discrimination AUC scores for CNLBP and healthy controls were 0.756±0.361 and 0.793±0.04. CNLBP participants demonstrated significantly worse proprioception than healthy controls (p=0.02, 95%CI= [61.70%-89.4] %). In healthy controls, there is significant and strong correlation between left and right ankle proprioception (r=0.747, p=0.003), but not significant in the CNLBP group (r=0.139, p=0.650).

CONCLUSION: The findings of the present study confirm that the ankle proprioception is impaired in individuals with CNLBP. In addition, a common motor program may be used to bilateral ankle movement control in healthy people that demonstrate impairment in people with CNLBP. These findings provide a possible explanation for impaired balance in individuals with CNLBP and may have implications for physiotherapy intervention.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020
EventACSM Annual Meeting and World Congress on Exercise is Medicine 2020: Bridging Research and Practice for Healthy, Active Lives - San Francisco, San Francisco, United States
Duration: 26 May 202030 May 2020


ConferenceACSM Annual Meeting and World Congress on Exercise is Medicine 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco
Internet address


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