Temporal stability of paraspinal electromyographic recordings in low back pain and non-pain subjects

John G. Arena, Richard A. Sherman, Glenda M. Bruno, Timothy R. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


This paper presents the results of two studies in which bilateral surface EMG recordings of paraspinal muscle tension were measured in 29 lower back pain and 20 normal subjects in 6 different positions (standing, bending from the waist, rising, sitting with back supported, sitting unsupported, prone) on two occasions, and a comparison of the data from both studies. Measures were highly reliable when examined using analysis of variance procedures. Statistically significant reliability coefficients were obtained when the absolute values of the measures were examined, although in some instances less than 20% of the variance was explained. When examined as relative [percent change from baseline (prone) condition] values, differences between the two groups were observed: the normals were statistically more reliable than lower back pain subjects during every condition. Implications for clinical work and both basic and applied research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-37
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1990


  • Electromyogram
  • Man
  • Non-pain
  • Pain
  • Paraspinal recording
  • Reliability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Physiology (medical)


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