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Moving Beyond the Neutral Spine: Stabilizing the Dancer with Lumbar Extension Dysfunction

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Abstract:

Dancers commonly suffer from low back pain. This is often associated with the extreme lumbar extension range of motion and prolonged lordotic postures required by some dance forms. There is ample literature documenting extension-related instabilities such as spondylolisthesis in dancers. The aim of this article is to review the changes in motor control that occur in patients with subtle clinical instability and recurrent low back pain. Recent studies have consistently demonstrated changes in neuromuscular function in patients with back pain, and spinal stability retraining has become a popular component of treatment. However, most research to date has focused on maintenance of neutral spinal postures during assessment and treatment, whereas dancers must be trained to move with control through full lumbar extension range of motion.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Westside Dance Physical Therapy, New York, New York

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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