Improved compensatory postural adjustments of the deep abdominals following exercise in people with chronic low back pain

Michael F. Knox, Lucy CHIPCHASE, Siobhan Schabrun, Paul W.M. Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to determine if 8 weeks of exercise affects motor control in people with chronic low back pain (CLBP), measured by anticipatory (APAs) and compensatory postural adjustments (CPAs). APAs and CPAs were measured prior to and following 8 weeks in two groups of people with CLBP: an exercise group (n=12) who attended three exercise sessions per week for 8 weeks; and a non-exercise control group (n=12) who were advised to continue their usual activities for the duration of the study. APAs and CPAs were recorded during unilateral arm flexion, bilaterally from rectus abdominis (RA), transverse abdominis/internal oblique (TA/IO), and erector spinae (ES) via surface electromyography. Analysis of muscle onsets and APA amplitudes suggests APAs did not change for either group. Ipsi-lateral TA/IO CPAs increased for the exercise group and ipsi-lateral TA/IO CPAs decreased for the control group. Only exercise promoted a pattern of TA/IO activity during CPAs similar to healthy individuals, suggesting improved control of rotational torques. These results show motor control improvement following exercise in people with CLBP, highlighted by improved side specific control of TA/IO.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-124
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Electromyography and Kinesiology
Early online date20 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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