Kristen H. Beange BASc,1 Tianna H. Beharriell BHK,2 Eugene K. Wai MD, MSc, FRCSC,3 Ryan B. Graham MSc, PhD,4

1School of Human Kinetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
2School of Human Kinetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
3Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
4School of Human Kinetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


Abstract: Impaired neuromuscular control of the spine is widely recognized as an important factor in the development of low back pain (LBP). In this review, we summarize contemporary approaches for the assessment of spinal control variables such as stability, stiffness, coordination, and kinematics as well as the most current definitions within the LBP community. We discuss how these assessments can be incorporated into primary clinical care to improve diagnosis and treatment effectiveness.
Key Words: spinal control, low back pain, kinematics, stability, wearables.

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1. Classification of low back pain (LBP) should continue to be refined to prognosticate and guide treatment.
2. The spinal control model is based on the interaction of the passive (osteoligamentous), active (muscular), and neural feedback subsystems.
3. The spinal control model can be used as a basis to further refine classification and treatment of LBP. Technological advances allows for the development of better kinematic assessments of these subsystems and possible incorporation into clinical care.
1. Identification of specific subgroups of LBP and directing specific treatments has been identified as a future for research and management.
2. The Clinically Organized Relevant Exam (CORE) Back Tool incorporates the identification of patterns of pain based on back or leg dominant, and flexion or extension mediated pain.
3. Spinal fusion for treatment of back dominant LBP (without spondylolisthesis) is not supported by clinical practice guidelines.
4. Within the spinal control model, treatment of LBP should focus on the identification of deficiency in the active (muscular) and neural feedback subsystems and on treatment with spinal muscular strengthening and motor control exercises.
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