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Symptomatic and Asymptomatic Movement Coordination of the Lumbar Spine and Hip During an Everyday Activity

Shum, Gary L. K. BSc*†; Crosbie, Jack PhD*; Lee, Raymond Y. W.‡

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Study Design. This experimental study analyzed the movements of the lumbar spine and hip while putting on a sock.

Objectives. To examine differences in kinematics and coordination of the lumbar and hip movements in subjects with and without subacute low back pain.

Summary of Background Data. There is no information on the coordination of movements of lumbar spine and hips during activities of daily living such as putting on a sock. The effect of low back pain, with or without nerve root signs, is unknown.

Methods. A real-time three-dimensional electromagnetic tracking device was used to measure movements of the lumbar spine and hips in 60 subacute low back pain subjects with or without straight leg raise (SLR) signs and 20 asymptomatic subjects. Movement coordination between the two regions was examined by cross-correlation.

Results. Mobility was significantly reduced in back pain subjects. Symptomatic subjects compensated for limited motion through various strategies, but in all cases the contribution of the lumbar spine relative to that of the hip was significantly reduced. The lumbar spine-hip joint coordination was substantially altered in back pain subjects, in particular, when putting on a sock on the side with positive SLR sign.

Conclusion. Changes in the lumbar and hip kinematics when putting on a sock were related to back pain and limitation in SLR. Low back pain will affect lumbar-hip coordination.

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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