Mr Jianhua Lin

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Thesis work

Thesis title: Pelvic motor control in people with and without low back pain

Supervisors: Mark HALAKI , Andrew LEAVER

Thesis abstract:

Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most common musculoskeletal disorders and the leading causes of disability and work absence globally. The lack of understanding of the causes, underlying mechanisms and contributing factors commonly proves to be one barrier of effective management.�br /� There has been extensive research into biomechanical models of LBP. One branch of biomechanical research into LBP has focused on the proprioception function. Substantial studies and systematic reviews have revealed that the patients with low back pain have significant proprioception deficit in lumbar and pelvic region when compared to healthy controls. Given the anatomical relationship between hip and pelvis, the proprioception of the hip joint could play an important role in pelvic motor control. However, the proprioception function of hip in LBP population remains unknown.�br /� Another branch of biomechanical research into LBP investigates the role of muscles that control motion of the lumbar spine and pelvis by using surface electromyography (sEMG). This research has led to novel approaches to treatment with therapeutic exercise of core muscles. However, the average clinical effects of these types of therapeutic exercise have been small. One of the limitations of research into muscle function and LBP to date is that this research has focused mainly on the muscles of the trunk and pelvis. Less attention has been paid to the muscles of the hip and lower limb; however, these muscles may play an important role in controlling the pelvis. Given that the movement of the pelvis is controlled and coordinated by the trunk muscles and hip muscles, it is essential to understand the recruitment activities of lower limb muscles and their role in pelvic motor control in people with and without low back pain.�br /� The main aims of this thesis are to investigate: (1) The hip proprioception in people with and without LBP; (2) The performance of hip muscles during walking in LBP patients. The thesis will include studies that investigate hip proprioception by using active movement extent discrimination apparatus (AMEDA) and studies that assess hip muscle activity and pelvic kinematic performance by using EMG and gait analysis system in people with low back pain and normal health subjects.

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