Deep trunk muscle thickness in subjects with and without LBP
Studies have consistently demonstrated the low back pain (LBP) is associated with dysfunction of the deep trunk stabilisers; specifically, the transverse abdominus (TrA) and lumbar multifidus (LM). Ultrasound imaging (USI) offers a non-invasive and real-time medium to observe changes in muscle morphology and morphometry at rest and during contraction. The aim of the current study was to determine inter- and intra-rater reliability of ultrasound measurements of TrA and LM thickness during rest and contraction in LBP and healthy subjects over three consecutive days performed by an experienced and novice rater.
The two raters measured 42 healthy and 56 LBP individuals over three days, calculating changes in thickness (%) between rest and contraction. Inter-rater ICC (intraclass correlation coefficients) for both single- and average-measure thickness were moderate for LBP subjects and substantial for healthy individuals. Intra-rater ICC was substantial amongst both raters.
Both experienced and trained novice raters yielded reliable measurements of TrA and LM thickness in LBP and healthy subjects during contraction and rest.
> From: Djordjevic et al., J Orthop Sports Phys Ther (2014) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. Click here for the Pubmed summary.