Carlos Murillo, MRes Spinal Pain Student within the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, has won the “best student oral presentation” at the XXII Congress of the International Society of Electrophysiology and Kinesiology in Dublin this month.

The XXII Congress of the International Society of Electrophysiology and Kinesiology brought together over 500 delegates and students from a range of multidisciplinary backgrounds specialising in human movement and the neuromuscular system. The congress integrated complementary perspectives across scientific, engineering and clinical disciplines.

Carlos’s paper presentation was entitled ‘Shear wave elastography reveals differences in lumbar erector spinae muscle stiffness in individuals with low back pain’. This paper has revealed a differentiation in muscular stiffness between superficial and deep muscle layers in the lumbar spine in healthy people, which is also observed in people with Low Back Pain (LBP). However, people with LBP display higher muscular stiffness in the superficial muscle layer compared to healthy people, which may be part of a protective strategy with the aim of stiffening the spine and to prevent further pain. In addition, people with LBP show a lower increase of muscular stiffness with contraction (trunk extension in prone position), which may be related to the decrease in the strength of the lumbar muscles. Carlos’s study provides new insights into the mechanical properties of the lumbar muscles, and adds to knowledge about the neuromuscular adaptations to pain that people with LBP undergo.

We would like to congratulate Carlos on this prestigious award, and we wish him all the success with his studies.