The thoracolumbar fascia (TLF) plays an important role in lower back pain (LBP). Recent studies have revealed an association between increases in TLF thickness and reduced TLF gliding in patients with LBP. The purpose of this study was to measure and compare by ultrasound (US) imaging the thickness of the TLF at the bilateral L3 level of the lumbar spine in the longitudinal and transverse axes in chronic non-specific LBP and in healthy subjects. A cross-sectional study was performed using US imaging to measure the longitudinal and transverse axes with a new protocol in a sample of 92 subjects: 46 chronic non-specific LBP patients and 46 healthy participants. The findings for TLF thickness revealed statistically significant differences (p < 0.05) in the longitudinal and transverse axes between the two groups. Moreover, in the healthy group, a statistically significant difference was found between the longitudinal and transverse axes (p = 0.001 for left and p = 0.02 for right), which was not evident in the LBP patients. These findings suggest that the LBP patients lost anisotropy of the TLF, with it becoming homogeneously thicker and losing adaptability in the transversal direction. The US imaging evaluation suggests that TLF thickness behavior points out altered fascial remodelling compared to healthy subjects, a sort of "frozen back".

Ultrasound Imaging of Thoracolumbar Fascia Thickness: Chronic Non-Specific Lower Back Pain versus Healthy Subjects; A Sign of a "Frozen Back"?

Pirri, Carmelo
;
Guidolin, Diego;Macchi, Veronica;Porzionato, Andrea;De Caro, Raffaele;Stecco, Carla
2023

Abstract

The thoracolumbar fascia (TLF) plays an important role in lower back pain (LBP). Recent studies have revealed an association between increases in TLF thickness and reduced TLF gliding in patients with LBP. The purpose of this study was to measure and compare by ultrasound (US) imaging the thickness of the TLF at the bilateral L3 level of the lumbar spine in the longitudinal and transverse axes in chronic non-specific LBP and in healthy subjects. A cross-sectional study was performed using US imaging to measure the longitudinal and transverse axes with a new protocol in a sample of 92 subjects: 46 chronic non-specific LBP patients and 46 healthy participants. The findings for TLF thickness revealed statistically significant differences (p < 0.05) in the longitudinal and transverse axes between the two groups. Moreover, in the healthy group, a statistically significant difference was found between the longitudinal and transverse axes (p = 0.001 for left and p = 0.02 for right), which was not evident in the LBP patients. These findings suggest that the LBP patients lost anisotropy of the TLF, with it becoming homogeneously thicker and losing adaptability in the transversal direction. The US imaging evaluation suggests that TLF thickness behavior points out altered fascial remodelling compared to healthy subjects, a sort of "frozen back".
2023
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3481860
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