n International SportMed Journal - Pain catastrophising and its influence on pre-programmed reactions in athletes with chronic low back pain : original research

Volume 15, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1528-3356



Psychological factors, such as fear of pain, fear of movement or (re) injury and pain catastrophising, play a crucial role in the development and progression of Low Back Pain (LBP). Pre-Programmed Reactions (PPR) is a dynamic component of the stretch reflex, which help to counteract perturbations. Little information is known about the impact of psychological variables on PPR in athletes with chronic LBP. Do psychological factors like fear of pain, fear of movement or (re) injury and pain catastrophising influence the PPR amplitudes of global trunk muscles - Rectus Abdominis (RA) and Erector Spinae (ES), in athletes with chronic LBP. Experimental Electromyography Study. PPR amplitudes of RA and ES of twenty five athletes with chronic LBP for expected and unexpected perturbations were measured using surface electromyography (EMG). Pain intensity, fear of pain, fear of movement or (re) injury and pain catastrophising behaviour of these athletes were measured using relevant questionnaires. Pearson's product moment coefficient was used. The results showed a significant negative correlation (p<0.05) between ES PPR amplitude and pain catastrophising during sudden unexpected perturbations. No significant correlation was obtained for other psychological variables. High pain catastrophising behaviour is correlated with poor modulation of Unexpected PPR amplitudes of ES in athletes with chronic LBP. These changes could result in further pain and re-injury as the function of the global trunk muscles like ES in counteracting excessive perturbations is dampened.

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