Altered movement perception in chronic low back pain
It is well documented that patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain can present with altered perception of movement and body awareness. The current study aimed to assess the differences in movement perception between healthy subjects and patients with chronic non-specific low back pain using a virtual mirror.
30 military personnel were included in the study (15 healthy) and were asked to perform a truck flexion task in 2 different positions, standing and sitting, in front of a full-body virtual mirror-image (avatar) in real-time. Avatar movements were scaled to appear greater, the same or smaller than the subjects' actual movements. Subjects were then asked if the avatar movements were greater or smaller than there own movements.
Subjects with low back pain tended to overestimate their movements i.e they felt they were flexing further than they actually were. This study adds further insight into the relationship between body perception, movement and pain.
> From: Roosink et al., PLoS One 10 (2015) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to The Author(s). Click here for the Pubmed summary.