One article on PainSci cites Bray 2011: The Complete Guide to Low Back Pain
PainSci notes on Bray 2011:
If someone is suffering from low back pain, is it possible that they are less accurate in making left/right trunk rotation judgements? Apparently so. The researchers concluded: “Chronic back pain is associated with disruption of the working body schema [mental picture] of the trunk. This might be an important contributor to motor control abnormalities seen in this population.”
But it’s very important to note that the arrow of causation could swing back and forth like a compass in an MRI machine. Is poor coordination causing low back pain? Or is low back causing poor coordination? Or do they just happen to go well together, like peanut butter and chocolate?
original abstract †Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
BACKGROUND: To test whether working body schema of the trunk is disrupted in people with back pain using a motor imagery task in which one decides whether a pictured model has their trunk rotated to the left or to the right. The authors hypothesised that chronic back pain is associated with reduced accuracy of left/right trunk rotation judgements.
METHODS: 21 Patients with back pain and 14 controls completed two tasks, each involving two trials of 40 images: a left/right hand judgement task, which was used as a control task, and the left/right trunk rotation judgement task. Two (task) × three (group: bilateral back pain, unilateral back pain and control) analyses of variance were undertaken on mean response time and accuracy.
RESULTS: Response time was similar across participants and tasks (NS). Accuracy was not. The patients with bilateral back pain made more mistakes on the left/right trunk rotation task than patients with unilateral back pain, who in turn made more mistakes on that task than the controls (body part × group interaction; p<0.001). The mean (95% CI) accuracy for left/right trunk rotation judgements was 53.4% (44.5% to 62.3%) for the patients with bilateral back pain, 67.2% (60.2% to 74.1%) for the patients with unilateral back pain and 87% (75% to 98%) for the control participants. This pattern was not observed on the left/right-hand judgement task, on which all three groups made correct judgements about 83% of the time (NS).
DISCUSSION: Chronic back pain is associated with disruption of the working body schema of the trunk. This might be an important contributor to motor control abnormalities seen in this population.
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- Cannabidiol (CBD) products for pain: ineffective, expensive, and with potential harms. Moore 2023 J Pain.
- Inciting events associated with lumbar disc herniation. Suri 2010 Spine J.
- Prediction of an extruded fragment in lumbar disc patients from clinical presentations. Pople 1994 Spine (Phila Pa 1976).
- Characteristics of patients with low back and leg pain seeking treatment in primary care: baseline results from the ATLAS cohort study. Konstantinou 2015 BMC Musculoskelet Disord.
- Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of universal school-based mindfulness training compared with normal school provision in reducing risk of mental health problems and promoting well-being in adolescence: the MYRIAD cluster randomised controlled trial. Kuyken 2022 Evid Based Ment Health.