Changes in Cross-sectional Area of Lumbar Muscle in Patients with Chronic Back Pain

만성요통환자의 요부근육 단면적의 변화

  • Kim, Seong-Yeol (Department of Physical Therapy, College of Natural Sciences, Kyungnam University)
  • 김성렬 (경남대학교 자연과학대학 물리치료학과)
  • Received : 2010.07.15
  • Accepted : 2010.10.09
  • Published : 2010.10.25


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to characterize changes in back muscles in patients with chronic back pain. Accordingly, we studied 154 patients with chronic low back pain with regard to area, aspect and triggering position of the pain. We also determined muscle atrophy in painful areas. Methods: Subjects were questioned about pain and a pain provoking test was done. On Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), we measured cross sections of the multifidus, erector spinae, iliopsoas and quadratus lumborum muscles at each spinal level. Results: Muscles in painful regions (multifidus and erector spinae muscles) decreased in area significantly more than nonpainful regions, and showed a significant difference (p<0.05) at levels L3, L4, and L5. Painful regions of the iliopsoas and quadratus lumborum did not change significantly more than non-painful regionsexcept at L5 (p<0.05). The group that had unilateral low back pain showed a significant decrease in cross section compared to the group that had central or bilateral pain (p<0.05). Conclusion: Chronic low back pain causes variable decreases in cross-sectional areas of some but not all back muscles, and at some but not all spinal levels.


Supported by : 경남대학교


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