Runners with low back pain
The prevalence of low back pain (LBP) in recreational runners has been reported to be as high as 13.6% in the United States, accounting for approximately 7% of all running-related injuries. Little is known regarding muscle performance in runners with chronic LBP. The aim of the following study was to compare lumbar extensor muscle fatigability, lumbar muscle activation, and lower limb strength between male and female runners with chronic LBP and healthy runners.
18 runners with chronic LBP were coupled with 18 pain-free individuals. EMG signals were measured over iliocostalis during a 2-minute Sorenson Test, while an ultrasound scanner measured changes in thickness of transversus abdominus and lumbar multifidus. An isokinetic dynamometer measured lower limb muscle strength.
Only peak knee extensor torque and lumbar multifidus thickness were reduced in LBP runners – the latter only amongst males. These findings suggest the possibility of many other variables as potential culprits behind LBP in recreational runners, such as running technique and training errors.
> From: Cai et al., J Orthop Sports Phys Ther (2015) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. Click here for the Pubmed summary.