Reliability and Validity of the Feedback Sensor for Activating the Transversus Abdominis Muscle

Leonard Henry Joseph, Aatit Paungmali, Duangruedee Dissanguan, Patraporn Sitilertpisan, Suchart, Kiatwattanacharoen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Core muscle activation is an effective intervention for the management of Low Back Pain (LBP). This study developed new feedback for detecting activation of the transversus abdominis muscle in the lumbar spine. The purpose of this study was to examine the validity and reliability of the feedback device for transversus abdominis muscle contraction. Methods: The participants in this study were 20 healthy males and females (aged 24.1 ± 6.8 years). The feedback sensor was attached to the lumbar support at the front of the trunk. The participants performed an abdominal drawing-in maneuver in order to activate the transversus abdominis muscle, and values from the feedback sensor were collected at the same time. Ultrasound imaging of the transversus abdominis muscle was also collected simultaneously. The feedback sensor collected values at different clinical levels of the pressure biofeedback unit at 64, 66, 68, and 70 mmHg. The protocol was repeated with a 24-hr interval. Intra-class correlation coefficient, coefficient of variation and standard error of measurements were used to examine reliability. The validity of the values obtained from the relationship between the feedback sensor and transversus abdominis muscle thickness was analyzed using Pearson’s correlation coefficients. Results: Test–retest reliability of the feedback sensor was excellent (ICC = 0.946, CV = 2.6%, SEMs = 0.54%). Values of the feedback sensor reported a significantly moderate correlation with the gold standard ultrasound measurement (r = - 0.514, p < 0.001). Conclusion: The feedback device demonstrated potential reliability and validity for clinical use by indicating activation of the transversus abdominis muscle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-73
Number of pages7
JournalThe Open Biomedical Engineering Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

© 2019 Dissanguan et al. Open-Access License: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


  • Core muscles
  • Feedback
  • Reliability
  • Sensor
  • Transversus abdominis
  • Ultrasound
  • Validity


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