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Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1997 Mar 1;22(5):552-8.

Kinematic analysis of lumbar and hip motion while rising from a forward, flexed position in patients with and without a history of low back pain.

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  • 1Department of Physical Therapy, Allegheny University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN:

This study analyzed two groups of individuals during return to an upright position (extension) from a forward, bent position. Group 1 (n = 12) included individuals with no history of low back pain who were currently asymptomatic, and group 2 (n = 12) included individuals with no history of low back pain.

OBJECTIVES:

To determine the amount and pattern of lumbar spine and hip motion that occur as an individual rises from a forward, flexed position, to determine if differences exist in this measurement between individuals with and without a history of low back pain, and to determine if hamstring length is related to the pattern of motion.

SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA:

Reports of interaction between lumbar spine and hip movement vary for forward bending and extension. Differences may be a result of variations in measurement methods, loading conditions, or the pathology present, such as low back pain.

METHODS:

A three-dimensional optoelectric motion analysis system was used to measure the amount and velocity of lumbar spine and hip motion during extension. Each participant in the study performed three trials of a complete flexion-extension cycle at a self-selected speed. The data for the extension portion of the cycle were averaged and used for statistical analysis. Hamstring length also was determined using two clinical tests, the passive straight-leg raise and the active knee-extension tests.

RESULTS:

The pattern of movement was described by calculating lumbar to hip extension ratios for each 25% interval of total extension. Individuals with a history of low back pain tended to move from the lumbar spine earlier than those with no history of low back pain, especially in the initial 25% of the extension motion. For all participants, mean lumbar to hip extension ratios were 0.26 for 0-25% of extension, 0.61 for 25-50%, 0.81 for 50-75%, and 2.3 for 75-100%. The lumbar to hip ratios were different in each 25% interval, demonstrating that the hips had a greater contribution to early extension, with the lumbar spine contribution increasing in the middle intervals and becoming the primary source of motion in the final interval. When lumbar to hip extension ratios were compared with corresponding intervals of flexion, three of four were positively correlated to flexion ratios, demonstrating a reversible lumbopelvic rhythm. Although participants with a history of low back pain had significantly tighter hamstrings than participants with no history of low back pain, hamstring length was not correlated with any of the kinematic characteristics during extension.

CONCLUSIONS:

Participants who were currently asymptomatic but had a history of low back pain moved in a manner similar to that of participants with no history of low back pain except that they demonstrated greater lumbar motion and velocity during the initial phase of extension. This may have been the result of low back pain or a contributing factor in recurrent low back pain.

PMID:
9076888
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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