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Eur J Sport Sci. 2019 Apr 23:1-7. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2019.1606942. [Epub ahead of print]

Testing the deconditioning hypothesis of low back pain: A study in 1182 older women.

Author information

1
a Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences , Deakin University , Geelong , Australia.
2
b Centre for Muscle and Bone Research, Department of Radiology , Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin , Berlin , Germany.
3
c Triamedis Fachärztezentrum, Osteooncology , Frankfurt , Germany.

Abstract

This study assessed the deconditioning hypothesis of low back pain (LBP) by examining physical function in relation to LBP and self-reported physical activity in women. This cross-sectional study recruited a representative population-based sample of females aged greater than 60 years. In total, 1182 women were included in the study and completed questionnaires (physical activity and LBP intensity) and functional testing (countermovement jump, chair rise, gait speed and grip strength). Individuals were stratified into four groups based on physical activity and LBP status and analysed via a two-way ANOVA. Most participants (87%) reported current LBP and 25% were physically active. Countermovement jump height, chair rise and grip strength were lower in physically inactive women (p ≤ 0.005), but not women with LBP (p ≥ 0.21). Gait speed was not associated with physical activity or LBP status. There was no association between LBP and physical activity status. Whilst LBP was associated with lower physical activity, contrary to the deconditioning hypothesis, LBP status itself was not associated with reduced physical function in community-dwelling women 60 years and older. This implies that LBP may not be related to physical function in this population group, but rather to their physical activity levels.

KEYWORDS:

Exercise; aged; movement; walking speed

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