Effects and Mechanism of Motor Control Exercise with Surface Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (Snmes) Inducing Muscle Re-Education on Pain, Motor Functions and Quality of Life in Elderly Patients with Nonspecific Chronic Lower Back Pain (Nsclbp)

Project: National Science and Technology CouncilNational Science and Technology Council Academic Grants

Project Details


In past 10 years with growing age population, the prevalence of lower back pain did not decline mainly due to the increase of lifespan and the recovery duration of the pain on age population. The main problem in chronic low back pain is deep muscle atrophy and pain so its treatment targets on strengthening the muscle and pain relief. As point of view from motor control in physical therapy, it is insufficient to increase atrophic muscle strength alone. The atrophy muscle requires further training with the neural efficiency on recruiting synergy muscular contraction for functional activities and quality of daily life. Motor control exercise is the low loading exercise purposed to weight on recruiting muscular contraction, which is appropriate for the elderly. Clinical evidence suggests that motor control exercises may require further strengthening deep atrophic muscles to achieve better results. Imaging evidence suggests that the use of surface neuromuscular electrical stimulation (SEMES) can induce maximal contraction of deep abdominal and lower back muscles. Thus SNMES in conjunction with motion control exercise may achieve the better effects. In the mechanism, the disability due to lower back pain not only comes from the problem of deep core muscle group, but also from neural activity changes of peripheral motor pathways or central descending motor pathways. It is still unknown whether the treatment effect will affect the activities of those pathways. This project aims to study the clinical effects and neurophysiological mechanisms of SNMES-induced deep muscle re-education combined with motor control exercise on pain, motor functions and quality of life in elderly patients with nonspecific chronic lower back pain (NSCLPB). Year I study will be to quantitative subjective and objective SNMES strength with the depth of low back muscle contraction among healthy adults, healthy elderly, and NSCLBP elderly. Year II study will be to compare the clinical and neurophysiological effects of motor control exercise between NSCLBP adults and the elderly. Year III study will be to compare the clinical and neurophysiological effects of SNMES combined motor control exercise in the NSCLBP elderly. This project is searching a simple and effective physical treatment to improve the movement functions for the patient. Therefore this project is expected to promote the health of national elderly people, to reduce the social and economic burden, and to provide huge economic value to the country by the improvement of elderly motor functions.

Project IDs

Project ID:PC10708-1071
External Project ID:MOST107-2314-B182-022
Effective start/end date01/08/1831/07/19


  • Physical therapy
  • Geriatric
  • Motor control
  • Non-specific chronic lower back pain
  • Neuromuscular electrical stimulation
  • Exercise


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