Influence of sacroiliac bracing on muscle activation strategies during 2 functional tasks in standing-tolerant and standing-intolerant individuals

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People who develop low back pain during standing (standing-intolerant) are a subclinical group at risk for clinical low back pain. Standing-intolerant individuals respond favorably to stabilization exercise and may be similar to people with sacroiliac joint dysfunction that respond to stabilization approaches including sacroiliac joint (SIJ) bracing. The purpose was to characterize muscle activation and response to SIJ bracing in standing-tolerant and standing-intolerant individuals during forward flexion and unilateral stance. Trunk and hip electromyography data were collected from 31 participants (17 standing-tolerant and 14 standing-intolerant) while performing these tasks with and without SIJ bracing. Kinematics were captured concurrently and used for movement phase identification. Cross-correlation quantified trunk coactivation and extensor timing during return-to-stand from forward flexion; root mean square amplitude quantified gluteal activity during unilateral stance. The standing-intolerant group had elevated erector spinae–external oblique coactivation without bracing, and erector spinae–internal oblique coactivation with bracing during return-to-stand compared with standing-tolerant individuals. Both groups reversed extensor sequencing during return-to-stand with bracing. Standing-tolerant individuals had higher hip abductor activity in nondominant unilateral stance and increased hip extensor activity with bracing. SIJ bracing could be a useful adjunct to other interventions targeted toward facilitating appropriate muscle activation in standing-intolerant individuals.

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