The Performance Matrix
MOVEMENT EFFICIENCY FOR A LIFETIME

The Pressure Biofeedback Unit for Testing of Low Back Core Control

16th October 2012

These are a series of tests that use a pressure biofeedback unit (PBU) to objectively monitor the ability to maintain a neutral core under different loading challenges and so evaluate CORE CONTROL. They provide information about what load the core can safely strength train with. If core strength is poor, then maximum load strength training may result in tissue overload and increased injury risk. This series of tests use functional body load.

Here is how to test for core control using PBU

 


LEVEL 1: Double Bent Leg Lift & Lower

Maintain pressure ideally at 40 (with +/- 5 as tolerance for rehab - stay in between 35-45)

Uncontrolled Lumbar Flexion = pressure >45

Uncontrolled Lumbar Extension = pressure < 35

Figure 1 Placement of PBU

 

Figure 2 Start Position

Start position:

  • Lie on the back, legs bent with knees and feet together
  • Place a Pressure Biofeedback Unit (PBU) under the lumbar lordosis Figure 1
  • Pelvis relaxed and neutral
  • Inflate the PBU to 40 mmHg to maintain the neutral pelvic tilt and neutral low back Figure 2
  • Monitor the position of the pelvis with hands
  • Demonstrate that tilting the pelvis forwards and arching the back results in a decrease in pressure (extension)
  • Demonstrate that rolling the pelvis backwards and rounding the back results in an increase in pressure (flexion)

Test movement:

  • Keeping the pelvis from moving, slowly lift both feet off the floor until the thighs are vertical (hip flexion to 900) then lower the feet to the floor again (hip extension to 450) Figure 3 & Figure 4

Figure 3 Figure 4

  • Try to keep the PBU pressure at 40 mmHg.
  • A pressure increase of 5 mmHg (45 or above) indicates uncontrolled flexion
  • A pressure decrease of 5 mmHg (35 or below) indicates uncontrolled extension
  • A pressure change of less than 5 mmHg is acceptable while the legs are moving only if the trunk can be re-stabilised at 40 mmHg when the legs stop moving

 
Follow part 1,2 and 3 on this blog

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