Background The role of so-called local muscle system in motor control of the lower back and pelvis is a subject of ongoing debate. Prevailing beliefs in stabilizing function of this system were recently challenged. This study investigated the impact of in vitro simulated force of transversely oriented fibres of the transversus abdominis muscle (a part of the local system) on flexibility of the sacroiliac joint during asymmetric moment application to the pelvis. Methods In 8 embalmed specimens an incremental moment was applied in the sagittal plane to one innominate with respect to the fixed contralateral innominate. Ranges of motion of the sacroiliac joint were recorded using the Vicon Motion Capture System. Load-deformation curves were plotted and flexibility of the sacroiliac joint was calculated separately for anterior and posterior rotations of the innominate, with and without simulated muscle force. Findings Flexibility of the sacroiliac joint was significantly bigger during anterior rotation of the innominate, as compared to posterior rotation (Anova P < 0.05). After application of simulated force of transversus abdominis, flexibility of the joint did not change both during anterior and posterior rotations of the innominate. Interpretation A lack of a stiffening effect of simulated transversus abdominis force on the sacroiliac joint was demonstrated. Earlier hypotheses suggesting a stiffening influence of this muscle on the pelvis cannot be confirmed. Consistent with previous findings smaller flexibility of the joint recorded during posterior rotation of the innominate may be of clinical importance for physio- and manual therapists. However, major limitations of the study should be acknowledged: in vitro conditions and simulation of only solitary muscle force.

Flexibility, Pelvis, Sacroiliac joint, Transversus abdominis,
Clinical Biomechanics
Department of Neuroscience

Gnat, R, Spoor, C.W, & Pool-Goudzwaard, A.L. (2015). The influence of simulated transversus abdominis muscle force on sacroiliac joint flexibility during asymmetric moment application to the pelvis. Clinical Biomechanics, 30(8), 827–831. doi:10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2015.06.006