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Eur Spine J. 2018 Jan;27(1):163-170. doi: 10.1007/s00586-017-5217-1. Epub 2017 Jul 21.

Non-specific chronic low back pain: differences in spinal kinematics in subgroups during functional tasks.

Author information

1
Arthritis Research UK Biomechanics and Bioengineering Centre, School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University, Eastgate House, 35-43 Newport Road, Cardiff, Wales, CF24 0AB, UK. HemmingRL@cardiff.ac.uk.
2
Arthritis Research UK Biomechanics and Bioengineering Centre, School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University, Eastgate House, 35-43 Newport Road, Cardiff, Wales, CF24 0AB, UK.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

A multidimensional classification approach suggests that motor control impairment subgroups exist in non-specific chronic low back pain (NSCLBP). Differences in sitting lumbar posture have been identified between two such subgroups [flexion pattern (FP) and active extension pattern (AEP)] and healthy individuals; however, functional spinal movement has not been explored. This study will evaluate whether NSCLBP subgroups exhibit regional spinal kinematic differences, compared to healthy individuals, during functional tasks.

METHODS:

Observational, cross-sectional study design. Spinal kinematics of 50 NSCLBP subjects (27 FP, 23 AEP) and 28 healthy individuals were investigated using 3D motion analysis (Vicon™) during functional tasks [reaching upwards, step down, step up, lifting, and replacing a box, stand-to-sit, sit-to-stand, bending to retrieve (and returning from retrieving) a pen from the floor]. Mean sagittal angle for the total thoracic, total lumbar, upper thoracic, lower thoracic, upper lumbar, and lower lumbar regions between groups was compared.

RESULTS:

Significant differences were observed in lower thoracic and upper lumbar regions between NSCLBP subgroups during most tasks. Significant differences were observed between the FP and healthy group in the lower thoracic region during stand-to-sit-to-stand tasks and bending (and returning from) to retrieve a pen from the floor. All significant results demonstrated the FP group to operate in comparatively greater flexion.

CONCLUSIONS:

The thoraco-lumbar spine discriminated between FP and AEP, and FP and healthy groups during functional tasks. FP individuals demonstrated more kyphotic thoraco-lumbar postures, which may be pain provocative. No significant differences were observed between AEP and healthy groups, suggesting that alternative mechanisms may occur in AEP.

KEYWORDS:

Functional movement; Kinematics; Lumbar; Non-specific chronic low back pain; Thoracic

PMID:
28733722
PMCID:
PMC6478114
DOI:
10.1007/s00586-017-5217-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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