Somatosensory and Motor Differences between Physically Active Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain and Asymptomatic Individuals

Medicina (Kaunas). 2019 Aug 23;55(9):524. doi: 10.3390/medicina55090524.


Background and Objectives: Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is the most common occupational disorder due to its associated disability and high risk of recurrence and chronicity. However, the mechanisms underlying physical and psychological variables in patients with CLBP remain unclear. The main objective of this study was to assess whether there were differences between physically active patients with nonspecific CLBP compared with asymptomatic individuals in sensorimotor and psychological variables. Materials and Methods: This was an observational cross-sectional design with a nonprobabilistic sample. The sample was divided into two groups: individuals with nonspecific CLBP (n = 30) and asymptomatic individuals as a control (n = 30). The psychological variables assessed were low back disability, fear of movement, pain catastrophizing, and self-efficacy. The sensorimotor variables assessed were two-point discrimination, pressure pain threshold, lumbopelvic stability, lumbar flexion active range of motion, and isometric leg and back strength. Results: Statistically significant differences between the groups in terms of catastrophizing levels (p = 0.026) and fear of movement (p = 0.001) were found, but no statistically significant differences between groups were found in self-efficacy (p > 0.05). No statistically significant differences between the groups in any of the sensorimotor variables were found (p > 0.05). Conclusion: No sensorimotor differences were found between patients with asymptomatic and chronic low back pain, but differences were found in the psychological variables of catastrophizing and fear of movement.

Keywords: chronic low back pain; fear of movement; pain catastrophizing; psychological variables; sensorimotor variables.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chronic Pain / complications
  • Chronic Pain / physiopathology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / complications*
  • Low Back Pain / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement / methods