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Critical Reviews™ in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
SJR: 0.121 SNIP: 0.228 CiteScore™: 0.17

ISSN Druckformat: 0896-2960
ISSN Online: 2162-6553

Critical Reviews™ in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevPhysRehabilMed.v9.i3-4.70
pages 315-330

Dynamic Stabilization of the Lumbar Spine

Peter B. O'Sullivan
School of Physiotherapy, Curtin University of Technology, Western Australia
Lance Twomey
Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia 6845
G. T. Allison
The School of Physiotherapy Curtin University of Technology, Shenton Park, Western Australia


The lumbar spine is susceptible to injury under different loading conditions. Normally the neuromuscular system (NMS) ensures spinal stability via appropriate timing and recruitment between the large torque producing muscles (global system) and those muscles better designed to provide control and stability to the spine (local system). The manifestation of these complex patterns of co-contraction varies depending on the degree and manner of the load exerted on the spine, implicating a degree of independence in the neural control of these two systems. The NMS provides stability by controlling the lumbar lordosis and segmental neutral zone, via the intraabdominal pressure mechanism and the application of coordinated compressive forces along the spine that stiffen it. Understanding these complex patterns employed by the NMS lends toward the development of specific programs of rehabilitation for the back pain patient and preventative programs for those working in high-risk occupations.

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