Analyzing the Sensorimotor Control of the Spine

A review 1 was conducted to analyze the sensorimotor control of the spine. The overall conclusion of the review was that spinal structures were capable of monitoring sensory information and can control spinal muscles. They could likely offer kinesthetic perception to the sensory cortex.

Why Conduct such a Review?

One of the most common medical ailments affecting the middle-age population is low back pain or LBP. According to reports, LBP is an expensive musculoskeletal ailment. It’s multi-faceted and needs to be covered under sociological and psychological parameters. Trying to find the origin of LBP still requires a lot of research. Studies have speculated LBP being the cause of intervertebral disc damage. It has been linked to the damage of zygapophysial joints as well. The damage can be due to disc prolapse or traumatic injuries. It can be due to a degenerative process, too (particularly loading patterns).

sensorimotor control spine

The mechanics behind numerous spinal disorders can act in combination or single variables. Direct and referred pain can be caused by the derangement in the zygapophysial joints and lumbar intervertebral disc. The point being that we are yet to fully understand the link between structural alignment and pain.

What did this Review Do?

The current review went over the spinal viscoelastic structures. These structures included capsule, ligaments, and disc. The review gave particular focus to the structures’ sensory motor functions. The review shared that electrical stimulation of the lumbar afferents in the capsules, discs, and ligaments showed elicit reflex contraction of the longissimus and the multifidus muscles. Furthermore, the mechanical stimulation of the spinal viscoelastic tissues was able to excite the muscles with a higher excitation intensity. This occurred when more than one tissue was stimulated.

The review covered reflexes from different lumbosacral structures, the neuromuscular interaction between the spinal structures, and the reflexes from spinal ligaments. It also looked at the clinical implications of reflexes from the passive structures in the spine.

What did the Review Conclude?

The current review concluded that spinal structures were capable of monitoring sensory information in humans. They were also able to control spinal muscles.

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