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Papers: 15 Jun 2024 - 21 Jun 2024

2024 Jun 13



Sensorimotor integration in chronic low back pain.


Hugo MA, Muath S, Paul W H


Chronic low back pain (CLBP) impacts on spine movement. Altered sensorimotor integration can be involved. Afferents from the lumbo-pelvic area might be processed differently in CLBP and impact on descending motor control. This study aimed to determine whether afferents influence the corticomotor control of paravertebral muscles in CLBP. Fourteen individuals with CLBP (11 females) and 13 pain-free controls (8 females) were tested with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to measure the motor-evoked potential [MEP] amplitude of paravertebral muscles. Noxious and non-noxious electrical stimulation, and magnetic stimulation in the lumbo-sacral area were used as afferent stimuli and triggered 20 to 200 ms prior to TMS. EMG modulation elicited by afferent stimulation alone was measured to control net motoneuron excitability. MEP/EMG ratio was used as a measure of corticospinal excitability with control of net motoneuron excitability. MEP/ EMG ratio was larger at 60, 80 and 100-ms intervals in CLBP compared to controls, and afferent stimulations alone reduced EMG amplitude greater in CLBP than controls at 100 ms. Our results suggest alteration in sensorimotor integration in CLBP highlighted by a greater facilitation of the descending corticospinal input to paravertebral muscles. Our results can help to optimise interventions by better targeting mechanisms.