ATM2 Pilot Study, JMMT, Vol 14, No.3, 2006

Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy, Lewis C, Barrett J, Lopez W, Pesce S, Smelser J, Donaldson M, California State University, Sacramento, CA, presented at the AAOMPT 2006 Conference. 

Discussion and Conclusions

The ATM2 was studied to determine if it can decrease LBP, increase ROM and what the mechanism may be that is responsible for any decrease in pain. The ATM2  was shown to be effective in reducing LBP complaints although not significantly better than the abdominal hollowing exercise.  Our subjects were all students in their 20’s and the overall presenting pain levels were low to start.  The fact that the ATM2 did not significantly decrease LBP more than the mat exercise is not surprising as abdominal hollowing exercises are often prescribed for patients with LBP.  The ATM2 was shown to be effective in increasing lumbar ROM whereas the mat exercise was not. The ATM2 did not appear to impact CNS reprogramming of the TrA muscle based on our procedure. However, studies that have looked at TrA timing have utilized needle EMG and our study used surface EMG which only can pick up the reflection of TrA activity.  In addition, the software program we used was difficult to read the extremely short time values necessary to accurately measure timing of the trunk muscles. Based on the results of this pilot study the ATM2 has potential for helping patients with LBP and warrants further study.

This study showed a significant increase in ROM compared to an abdominal hollowing exercise group.  Due to this being a pilot study and small number of subjects with pain, there was no significant statistically calculated advantage in pain reduction for the ATM2 group, however, if you look at the actual tabular results (below), you can see the significance of the ATM2 group.

Actual Pain Values for Subjects with Pain

Subject# (subjects with pain)

Pre-exercise EROM VAS

Post-exercise EROM VAS

Pre-ATM2 EROM VAS

Post-ATM2 EROM VAS

Change in  VAS post exercise*

Change in  VAS post ATM2*

2

2

3

5

2

+1

      -3

3

3

3

3

3

No change

No change

4

4

4

4

4

No change

No change

5

1

2

2

1

+1

     -1

6

9

1

3.5

0

+1

     -3.5

7

4

3

3

4

-1

    +1

9

7

5

5

2

-2

     -3

16

1

1

1

1

No change

No change

* Plus (+) mean increase in pain, Minus (-) means reduction in pain.