Total views : 388

The Comparison of Various Positions on Lumbar Multifidus Activation


  • Department of Physical Therapy, Sun Moon University, Korea, Republic of


Background/Objectives: Core stability means muscular control on the back regions. Lumbar multifidus is important for stabilization in back region. To demonstrate how multifidus activation would be changed in the various positions. Methods/Statistical Analysis: Thirty healthy males were recruited for the study. The researchers educated the participants how to make the right positions, which consists of the prone, the side lying, and the sitting position. The researchers measured the subjects' lumbar multifidus two times randomly using the ultrasonography. The transducer that is rectangular and has flat surface used 7-10MHz with a 50mm penetration depth. The raw data was analyzed using one-way repeated measures ANOVA to compare the positions. Findings: In the prone position, the lumbar multifidus' thickness was 22.7cm, whereas in the sidelying and sitting position, the lumbar multifidus thickness was 19.4cm and 20.0cm. It means that the Lumbar multifidus more activated in the prone position than other positions. Among those positions, if lumbar multifidus exercise is needed for patients who do not have any kind of lumbar pain, the prone position would be the best position for lumbar multifidus exercise to the patients. There were only few studies about comparing multifidus activation in various positions, but even in previous studies, no studies examined that how the lumbar multifidus worked in those three positions. Thus, the study proved that in which positions the lumbar multifidus activates more. Application/Improvements: Many patients need to core muscles exercise for their low back pain. In that case, doing lumbar multifidus exercise in the prone position would be the best position.


Lumbar Multifidus, Prone Position, Side Lying Position, Sitting Position, Ultrasonography.

Full Text:

 |  (PDF views: 277)


  • Akuthota V, Nadler SF. Core strengthening. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2004 Mar; 85(2):86–92.
  • Ward SR, Kim CW, Eng CM, Gottschalk LJ 4th, Tomiya A, Garfin SR et al. Architectural analysis and intraoperative measurements demonstrate the unique design of the multifidus muscle for lumbar spine stability. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2009 Jan; 91(1):176–85.
  • Hodges PW, Richardson CA. Inefficient muscular stabilization of the lumbar spine associated with low back pain: A motor control evaluation of the transverses abdominis. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1996 Nov; 21(22):2640–50.
  • Kiesel KB, Uhl TL, Underwood FB, Rodd DW, Nitz AJ. Measurement of lumbar multifidus muscle contraction with rehabilitative ultrasound imaging. Man Ther. 2007 May; 12(2):161–6.
  • Danneels L, Vanderstraeten G, Cambier D, Witvrouw E, De Cuyper H. CT imaging of trunk muscles in ch ronic low back pain patients and healthy control subjects. Eur Spine J. 2000 Aug; 9(4):266–72.
  • Kuriyama N, Ito H. Electromyographic Functional Analysis of the Lumbar Spinal muscles with Low Back Pain. J Nippon Med Sch. 2005 Jun; 72(3):165–73.
  • Richardson C, Hodges PW, Hides JA. Therapeutic exercise for lumbopelvic stabilization, ed 2, St. Louis, Churchill Livingstone. 2004.
  • Ishida H, Hirose R, Watanabe S. Comparison of changes in the contraction of the lateral abdominal muscles between the abdominal drawing-in maneuver and breathe held at the maximum expiratory level. Man Ther. 2012 Oct; 17(5):427–31.
  • Lima PO, Oliveira RR, Moura Filho AG, Raposo MC, Costa LO et al. Concurrent validity of the pressure biofeedback unit and surface electromyo graphy in measuring transversus abdominis muscle activi ty in patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain. Rev Bras Fisioter. 2012 Oct; 16(5):389–95.
  • Chhem RK, Kaplan PA, Dussault RG. Ultrasonography of the musculoskeletal system. Radiol Clin North Am. 1994 Mar; 32(2):275–89.
  • Yang KH, Park DJ. Reliability of ultrasound in com bination with surface electromyogram for evaluating the activity of abdominal muscles in individuals with and without low back pain. J Exerc Rehabil. 2014 Aug; 10(4):230–5.
  • Kermode F. Benefits of utilising real-time ultrasound imaging in the rehabilitation of the lumbar spine stabilising muscles following low back injury in the elite athlete—a single case study. Phys Ther in sport. 2004 Feb; 5(1):13–6.
  • Jesus FM, Ferreira PH, Ferreira ML. Ultrasonographic measurement of neck muscle recruitment: a prelimi nary investigation. J Man Manip Ther. 2008; 16(2):89–92.
  • Hansen L, Zee D M, Rasmussen J, Andersen TB, Wong C . Anatomy and biomechanics of the back muscles in the lumbar spine with reference gto biomechanical modeling. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2006 Aug; 31(17):1888–99.
  • Kim CY, Choi JD, Kim SY, Oh DW, Kim JK et al. Comparison between muscle activation measured by electromyography and muscle thickness measured using ultrasonography for effective muscle assessment. J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2014; 24(5):614–20.
  • Kuriyama N, Ito H. Electromyographic Functional Analysis of the Lumbar Spinal muscles with Low Back Pain. J Nippon Med Sch. 2005 Jun; 72(3):165–73.
  • Donald NA. Kinesiology of the musculo- skeletal system: foundations for rehabilitation. 2nd edition. 2010; 10(1):410– 4.
  • Belavy DL, Hides JA, Wilson SJ, Stanton W, Dimeo D. Resistive simulated weight bearing exercise with whole body vibration reduces lumbar spine deconditioning in bedrest. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2008 Mar; 33(5):121–31.
  • Bogduk N. Clinical Anatomy of the Lumbar Spine and Sacrum, ed 4, New York, hurchill Livingstone. 2005; 250pp.
  • Macintosh JE, Bogduk N. The biomechanics of the lumbar multifidus. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). 1986 Nov; 1(4):205–13.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.