eAbstracts ~ Driving Plasticity in the Motor Cortex in Recurrent Low Back Pain

The focus of this study is to determine whether training-induced changes to motor function after injury are due to reorganization of the motor cortex in patients with low back pain.

Authors: Tsao H, Galea MP, Hodges PW

Purpose: The focus of this study is to determine whether training-induced changes to motor function after injury are due to reorganization of the motor cortex in patients with low back pain.

Results: Subjects received either motor skill training or a control intervention of self-paced walking exercises for two weeks. The deep abdominal muscle transversus abdominis was studied during the trials.

“Motor skill training induced an anterior and medial shift in motor cortical representation of TrA, towards that observed in healthy individuals from our previous study. This shift was associated with earlier postural activation of TrA. Changes were not observed following unskilled walking exercise. “This is the first observation that motor training can reverse reorganisation of neuronal networks of the motor cortex in people with recurrent pain. The observed relationship between cortical reorganisation and changes in motor coordination following motor training provides unique insight into potential mechanisms that underlie recovery.”

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Journal: European Journal of Pain (February 2010)