Diaphragm postural function analysis using magnetic resonance imaging.

PloS one

PubMedID: 23516397

Vostatek P, Novák D, Rychnovský T, Rychnovská S. Diaphragm postural function analysis using magnetic resonance imaging. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(3):e56724.
We present a postural analysis of diaphragm function using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The main aim of the study was to identify changes in diaphragm motion and shape when postural demands on the body were increased (loading applied to a distal part of the extended lower extremities against the flexion of the hips was used). Sixteen healthy subjects were compared with 17 subjects suffering from chronic low back pain and in whom structural spine disorders had been identified. Two sets of features were calculated from MRI recordings: dynamic parameters reflecting diaphragm action, and static parameters reflecting diaphragm anatomic characteristics. A statistical analysis showed that the diaphragm respiratory and postural changes were significantly slower, bigger in size and better balanced in the control group. When a load was applied to the lower limbs, the pathological subjects were mostly not able to maintain the respiratory diaphragm function, which was lowered significantly. Subjects from the control group showed more stable parameters of both respiratory and postural function. Our findings consistently affirmed worse muscle cooperation in the low back pain population subgroup. A clear relation with spinal findings and with low back pain remains undecided, but various findings in the literature were confirmed. The most important finding is the need to further address various mechanisms used by patients to compensate deep muscle insufficiency.