Lumbar spine accessory movements, used by therapists in the treatment of patients with low back pain, is thought to decrease paravertebral muscular activity; however there is little research to support this suggestion. This study investigated the effects of lumbar spine accessory movements on surface electromyography (sEMG) activity of erector spinae. A condition randomised, placebo controlled, repeated measures design was used. sEMG measurements were recorded from 36 asymptomatic subjects following a control, placebo and central posteroanterior (PA) mobilisation to L3 each for 2 min. The therapist stood on a force platform while applying the PA mobilisation to quantify the force used. The PA mobilisation applied to each subject had a mean maximum force of 103.3 N, mean amplitude of force oscillation of 41.1 N, and a frequency of 1.2 Hz. Surface electromyographic data were recorded from the musculature adjacent to L3, L5 and T10. There were statistically significant reductions of 15.5% (95% CI: 8.0–22.5%) and 17.8% (95% CI: 12.9–22.4%) in mean sEMG values following mobilisation compared with the control and placebo, respectively. This study demonstrates that a central PA mobilisation to L3 results in a statistically significant decrease in the sEMG activity of erector spinae of an asymptomatic population.
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- Erector spinae