Active Straight Leg Raise (ASLR) is a clinical test that challenges lumbopelvic stability and have been used in low back pain patients. There are reports of positive tests in asymptomatic individuals, however, it is not clear if they are false positives or a consequence of performing the test differently.
To compare abdominal muscles activity and pelvic motion during an ASLR between adults with chronic low back pain and asymptomatic participants with a positive and negative ASLR test.
Cross-sectional study design.
Nineteen volunteers with chronic nonspecific low back pain (LBP) and 19 asymptomatic, 12 with a negative ASLR (AG-) and 7 with a positive ASLR test (AG+) were assessed while performing an ASLR (dynamic postural challenge). Pelvic rotation and medio-lateral center of pressure displacement (COPml), as well as bilateral EMG abdominal muscles activity were assessed. Muscles asymmetry index were also analyzed. Kruskal-wallis test was used to compare groups (α = 0.05).
Both LBP and AG + displayed significantly less contralateral internal oblique/transversus abdominis (IO/TrA) muscle activation than AG- (p = 0.003 and p = 0.005, respectively) and also more asymmetry between sides in the IO/TrA than AG- (p = 0.022 and p = 0.004, respectively). No significant differences between LBP and AG+ were found (p > 0.05).
A positive ASLR test in an asymptomatic person could be more than a false positive, since IO/TrA muscle activation appears to be lower and more asymmetrical in people with a positive ASLR test, both with and without low back pain. Future studies may consider removing asymptomatic individuals with a positive ASLR.
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