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Trial details imported from

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Registration number
Ethics application status
Date submitted
Date registered
Date last updated

Titles & IDs
Public title
Changes in Motor Cortex Following Exercises for Chronic Low Back Pain
Scientific title
Driving Plasticity in the Motor Brain in Chronic Back Pain
Secondary ID [1] 0 0
Secondary ID [2] 0 0
Universal Trial Number (UTN)
Trial acronym
Linked study record

Health condition
Health condition(s) or problem(s) studied:
Chronic Low Back Pain 0 0
Condition category
Condition code
Musculoskeletal 0 0 0 0
Other muscular and skeletal disorders
Neurological 0 0 0 0
Other neurological disorders

Study type
Description of intervention(s) / exposure
Behaviour - Skilled motor training
Behaviour - Walking exercise

Experimental: 1 -

Active Comparator: 2 -

Behaviour: Skilled motor training
This involves training subjects to independently and cognitively activate the deep abdominal muscles, transversus abdominis, with minimal or no activity in other trunk muscles. The contraction is held for 10 seconds and subjects complete three blocks of ten contractions, twice per day for two weeks. This training protocol is commonly used clinically for people with chronic back pain.

Behaviour: Walking exercise
The control intervention involves walking exercises for ten minutes, twice per day. Subjects are advised to walk at their own pace with no instructions on activation of specific trunk muscles. The exercise is performed over two weeks.

Intervention code [1] 0 0
Comparator / control treatment
Control group

Primary outcome [1] 0 0
Motor cortical map and excitability from transcranial magnetic stimulation
Timepoint [1] 0 0
Pre and 2 weeks post-intervention
Secondary outcome [1] 0 0
Motor activation of the abdominal muscles during functional arm movement task
Timepoint [1] 0 0
Pre and 2 weeks post-intervention
Secondary outcome [2] 0 0
Self-reported pain (VAS scale) and functional scale (patient-specific functional scale)
Timepoint [2] 0 0
Pre and 2 weeks post-intervention

Key inclusion criteria
- Sustained or episodic non-specific low back pain lasting longer than 3 months
Minimum age
18 Years
Maximum age
55 Years
Both males and females
Can healthy volunteers participate?
Key exclusion criteria
- Orthopaedic, neurological, circulatory or respiratory conditions

- History or family history of epilepsy

- Recent or current pregnancies

- Previous surgery to the abdomen or back

- Abdominal or back exercises in the preceding 12 months

Study design
Purpose of the study
Basic Science
Allocation to intervention
Randomised controlled trial
Procedure for enrolling a subject and allocating the treatment (allocation concealment procedures)
Methods used to generate the sequence in which subjects will be randomised (sequence generation)
Masking / blinding
Blinded (masking used)
Who is / are masked / blinded?

The people analysing the results/data
Intervention assignment
Other design features
Phase 1
Type of endpoint(s)
Statistical methods / analysis

Recruitment status
Data analysis
Reason for early stopping/withdrawal
Other reasons
Date of first participant enrolment
Date of last participant enrolment
Date of last data collection
Sample size
Accrual to date
Recruitment in Australia
Recruitment state(s)
Recruitment hospital [1] 0 0
Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Spinal Pain, Injury and Health - Brisbane
Recruitment postcode(s) [1] 0 0
4072 - Brisbane

Funding & Sponsors
Primary sponsor type
The University of Queensland

Ethics approval
Ethics application status

Brief summary
The motor cortex of the brain changes following chronic pain and injury, and this is linked
to pain-associated changes in motor behaviour. This study aimed to investigate whether
therapeutic exercises in patients with chronic pain can induce reorganisation of the motor
cortex and restore normal motor behaviour. The investigators hypothesised that motor training
can induce reorganisation of the motor cortex and that these changes are related to improved
motor behaviour.
Trial website
Trial related presentations / publications
Public notes

Principal investigator
Name 0 0
Paul W Hodges, MedDr (Neurosci) PhD BPhty
Address 0 0
The University of Queensland
Country 0 0
Phone 0 0
Fax 0 0
Email 0 0
Contact person for public queries
Name 0 0
Address 0 0
Country 0 0
Phone 0 0
Fax 0 0
Email 0 0
Contact person for scientific queries

Summary results
Other publications