CHP research works to balance back pain


Research at the College of Health Professions is establishing Central Michigan University as a source for discovery in the health field.

Paul Sung is researching lower back pain and its impact on body stability and posture.

Sung has a doctorate of Health Science and a doctorate of Philosophy in Physical Therapy. He has published several studies regarding lower back pain.

“A recent meta-analysis concluded that subjects with lower back pain move more slowly when compared to a control group,” Sung said. “We are investigating this difference in muscle activation, postural reaction and corrective movements in subjects with and without lower back pain.”

Sung’s participants are members of the Mount Pleasant community and CMU Students. Engineering and health professions students are helping him record results from the tests and analyze data.

Sung asks participants to stand on one leg for 25 seconds and measures disturbances from weight shifts. He then has the subject walk on a treadmill to examine unexpected slips and the quickness of recovery.

Sung said the risk of back disturbance is minimal due to it being in a controlled environment and medical staff is there at all times.

He hopes to find ways to improve posture and use exercises as a way to remedy of the effects of lower back pain.

“We are looking forward to generating good outcomes for research and teaching for our students,” he said.

Sung is looking for volunteers suffering from lower back pain to participate in his research. The research will be supervised in a lab at CMU, and will last approximately 60 minutes. Volunteers will receive $20 after completion of this study and $10 if a volunteer fails to complete the study.

To volunteer, contact Sung at 989-774-3136 or


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