Low back pain and hamstrings – pain free volunteers needed

This study is not currently open to accept applicants.
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This research study aims to investigate how experimentally induced low back pain affects electrical activity in the back and hamstring muscles. It has been long known that in fully bent-forward position, back muscles show electrical relaxation in pain-free individuals and such relaxation in absent in individuals with low back pain. To some extent, similar responses are observed in hamstring muscles as well.  Additionally it is known that pain is associated with decreased movement of the injured body part.  Previous research has not been able to answer if altered responses in the hamstring muscles are secondary to decreased movement due to pain or represent efforts of hamstring muscles (along with lumbar muscles) to stabilize spine and pelvis. Participants need to attend an half-hour screening session and a 45-minute data collection session at Unitec Mt. Albert campus.  The session involves making 4 X 4 bending forward movements during which muscle activity in lumbar and hamstring muscles will be measured.  Participants will also receive 2 small harmless injections in their back muscles to induce a short and mild bout of low back pain.  Pain should last less than 7-10 minutes.


Information sheet V3
This study is open to and in aged 18 to 55
Healthy volunteers included

Inclusion criteria:

  • Age between 18 and 55 years
  • Ability to read, speak, and write English
  • Ability to give written, informed consent.

Exclusion criteria:

  • Orthopaedic or neurological disorders of low back or leg, such as low back pain, leg pain, or pins/needles in legs (whether acute or chronic)
  • Pain in low back or leg on the day of testing (whether acute or chronic)
  • Use of pain medications on the day of testing
  • Trauma to low back or leg
  • Limited lumbar flexion because of shortened hamstring muscles
  • Other pain related conditions such as arthritis or fibromyalgia
  • Pain catastrophising (score >24 on Pain Catastrophising Scale [PCS] Somatic hypervigilance (>7 on Modified Somatic Pain Questionnaire [MSPQ]
  • Diagnosis of haemophilia or other clotting disorders
  • Allergy to latex products
  • Non-New Zealand citizens or residents (due to liability issues)