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Medicine (Baltimore). 2020 Jan;99(5):e18544. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000018544.

Non-specific chronic low back pain and physical activity: A comparison of postural control and hip muscle isometric strength: A cross-sectional study.

Author information

Department of Physical Therapy.
Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, Taif University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Department of Allied Health Studies, School of Allied Health Professions, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA.
Department of Physical Therapy, College of Rehabilitative Sciences, University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, Austin, TX.


Most research on sedentary lifestyle has focused on pain and disability, while neuromuscular outcomes (postural control and strength) have received less attention. The objective of the study was to determine whether low level of physical activity is negatively associated with measures of lower body muscular strength and postural control in individuals with and without non-specific chronic low back pain (NSCLBP).Twenty-four subjects with NSCLBP (28.8 ± 5.9 years) and 24 age, gender, and body mass index matched healthy controls participated in the study. Subjects were sub-classified into 4 subgroups based on their physical activity level: Non-active NSCLBP; Active NSCLBP; Non-active healthy control; and Active healthy control. Each subgroup consisted of 12 subjects. Peak force of hip muscles strength was assessed using a handheld dynamometer. Postural control was assessed using computerized posturography and the Y Balance Test.There was no significant group by physical activity interaction for strength and static and dynamic postural control, except for static control during left single leg stance with eyes closed (P = .029). However, there was a significant difference in strength and postural control by physical activity (P < .05). Postural control and peak force of hip muscles strength were significantly associated with physical activity (r ranged from 0.50 to 0.66, P < .001 and r ranged from 0.40 to 0.59, P < .05, respectively).Postural control and hip strength were independently related to physical activity behavior. A sedentary behavior may be an important risk factor for impaired postural control and hip muscles strength, and that physical fitness is vital to neuromuscular outcomes.

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