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Papers: 14 May 2022 - 20 May 2022

2022 May 18

Sci Rep



No alteration of back muscle oxygenation during isometric exercise in individuals with non-specific low back pain.


Langenfeld A, Wirth B, Scherer-Vrana A, Riner F, Gaehwiler K, Valdivieso P, Humphreys KB, Scholkmann F, Flueck M, Schweinhardt P
Sci Rep. 2022 May 18; 12(1):8306.
PMID: 35585081.


The aim of our study was (I) To compare back muscle oxygenation and perfusion as well as Biering-Sorensen muscle endurance (BSME) test holding times between chronic non-specific low back pain (CNSLBP) patients and asymptomatic controls matched for age, body mass index (BMI), sex and physical activity, and (II) to investigate factors associated with BSME holding times. Muscle perfusion (tHb) and oxygenation (SmO) were measured by near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) based oximetry in three back muscles during the BSME. Reliability of tHb and SmO was assessed in a separate sample. BSME holding time and SmO were compared between patients (n = 45) and controls (n = 45) and factors associated with BSME holding time were assessed using multiple linear regression. Reliability for SmO was excellent (ICC = 0.87-0.99). THb showed poor to moderate reliability and was not further used. Groups differed for BSME holding time (P = 0.03), pain intensity (P ≤ 0.0005) and subcutaneous tissue thickness (P = 0.01) but not for NIRS measures. Physical activity and BMI were associated with BSME holding times. Insufficient muscle oxygenation does not seem to be a major factor contributing to CNSLBP. Future investigation should evaluate other determinants of BSME holding times, such as motivation and recruitment of auxiliary muscles.