Immune responses following McKenzie lumbar spine exercise in individuals with acute low back pain: A preliminary study

Saud Al Obaidi, Fadia Mahmoud

Abstract


Objective. This study explores the immune responses following 4 weeks of McKenzie lumbar spine exercise in individuals with acute low back pain (ALBP). Patients and methods. Fifteen patients with ALBP and 15 healthy individuals volunteered in this study. Ten ml of peripheral blood were obtained from each patient before and after exercise sessions, and from healthy individuals at the beginning of the study. Flow cytometric analysis was used to evaluate the frequencies of CD4+ T lymphocyte sub-populations and the intracellular cytokine expression within this cell population. Pain perceptions were obtained at baseline and following each week of exercise sessions. Results. In comparison with healthy subjects there was an elevated frequency of memory (CD4+CD45RO+) T cells, helper inducer (CD4+CD29+) T cells, CD3+CD16+CD56+ T cells and a lower frequency of naďve/suppressor (CD4+CD45RA+) T cells at base line in back pain patients (p<0.05). After 4 weeks of McKenzie exercise sessions, pain intensity significantly decreased (p<0.05); however, there was no significant difference in the frequency of memory (CD4+CD45RO+) T cells, helper inducer (CD4+CD29+) T cells, CD3+CD16+CD56+ T cells and naďve/suppressor (CD4+CD45RA+) T cells at base line relative to these cell populations after exercise sessions. The percentage of Pan (CD3+) T cells expressing IL-8 and TNF-α and the CD3+ T cells expressing the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-4 increased significantly (p<0.05) following exercise sessions in comparison with baseline and healthy references. The reduction in pain scores did not correlate with elevated anti-inflammatory cytokines. Conclusion. McKenzie exercise sessions induced an immune activation state and simultaneously up regulated anti-inflammatory IL-4 cytokines that boost pain relief.

Keywords


McKenzie lumbar spine exercise; Inflammation; Lymphocytes; Intracellular cytokines

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5644/ama2006-124.96

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