Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10497/24520
Title: 
Authors: 
Keywords: 
Firefighter
Paramedics
Stiffness
EMG
Fatigability
Low back pain
Oswestry Disability Index
Isometric strength
Issue Date: 
2022
Citation: 
Kong, P. W, Kan, T. Y. W., Roslan Abdul Ghani Mohamed Jamil, Teo, W. P., Pan, J. W., Md Noor Hafiz Abd Halim, Hasan Kuddoos Abu Bakar Maricar, & Hostler, D. (2022). Functional versus conventional strength and conditioning programs for back injury prevention in emergency responders. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, 10, Article 918315. https://doi.org/10.3389/fbioe.2022.918315
Journal: 
Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Abstract: 
Back pain and back-related injuries are common complaints among emergency responders. The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of two strength and conditioning programs in improving back muscle characteristics and disabilities in emergency responders (firefighters/paramedics). Participants (n = 24) were randomized into two groups to complete 16 weeks of supervised exercise intervention: 1) Functional training used unilateral movements that mimicked the asymmetrical nature of emergency operations, 2) Conventional training performed bilaterally loaded exercises. Outcome measures were maximum isometric back extension strength, passive muscle stiffness, lumbar extensor fatigability, and revised Oswestry Low Back Pain Questionnaire. A mixed model Analysis of Variance with repeated measures was performed to compare the difference over time and between groups. While the training effects were similar between groups, both programs improved isometric back extension strength (+21.3% functional, +20.3% conventional, p < 0.001, ηp2 = 0.625) and lumbar extensor muscle fatigability (+17.4% functional, +9.5% conventional, p = 0.009, ηp2 = 0.191). Bilateral symmetry in muscle stiffness was improved as indicated by reduction in symmetry index (-7.1% functional, -11.8% conventional, p = 0.027, ηp2 = 0.151). All self-reported pain and disability scores fell within the category of “minimum functional limitation” throughout the intervention and 6-month follow-up periods. For frontline firefighters and paramedics, both functional and conventional strength training are effective for improving back muscle characteristics.
URI: 
ISSN: 
2296-4185
DOI: 
Funding Agency: 
Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF)
File Permission: 
Open
File Availability: 
With file
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