CHANGES IN POSTURAL CONTROL AND PROPRIOCEPTIVE CAPABILITIES AFTER KUNG FU TRAINING PROGRAM IN LOW BACK PAIN PATIENTS

  • Lothar Thorwesten
  • Steffi Melz
  • Klaus Völker
Keywords: proprioception, postural balance, low back pain, spine, kung fu

Abstract

Low Back pain is often associated with reduced kinesthetic perception of the lower back and may result in early annuity or incapacitation for work. Special low back training programs can improve kinesthetic capabilities of low back pain patients. The effect of Kung Fu training has not been previously shown to be of benefit to sensorimotor control. Thirty-five volunteers (31.2 ± 6.3 years) were divided into two groups: Kung Fu exercise group (test group; with low back pain; n=23; training 2.9 ±2.3 h/week), control group (with low back pain; n=12; 34.1 ±4.2 years; training 0.25 ±0.8 h/week). During an active reproduction test, subjects performed the following trunk positions in random order: flexion [A (0°-20'), lateral flexion [B (0°-20')]. Using a 3D-ultrasound motion analysis system the repositioning error was calculated from the given target position to the subject perceived target position. Furthermore postural balance on a force plate and isometric force of back muscles were measured before and after an 8 week training period inclUding 16 training sessions. The results showed a decreasing repositioning error after the training period for the Kung Fu training group, in addition to an improvement in postural balance, whereas no significant changes in isometric strength could be demonstrated.