A retrospective study on patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain (NSLBP).
To describe the gait stride characteristics of patients with chronic NSLBP, and to examine the effect of a novel biomechanical device on the gait stride characteristics of these patients.
Summary of Background Data.
Patient with NSLBP alters their gait patterns. This is considered a protective mechanism as patients try to avoid extensive hip and spine ranges of motion and minimize forces and moments acting on the body. In addition, there are changes in the neuromuscular control system in patients with LBP that could possibly be attributed to the effects of pain on motor control.
Nineteen patients underwent a gait test, using an electronic walkway, at baseline and after 12 weeks of treatment. Spatiotemporal parameters were used to identify changes in gait pattern. A novel biomechanical device comprised of 4 modular elements attached to foot-worn platforms was used in the study. The modules are 2 convex shaped biomechanical elements attached to each foot, one is located under the hindfoot region and the other is located under the forefoot region. The device was individually calibrated to each patient. The patients were instructed to walk with the calibrated biomechanical device on a daily basis for a period of 12 weeks.
Significant differences were found at baseline and after 12 weeks in normalized velocity (P = 0.03), cadence (P < 0.01), left normalized step length (P = 0.02), right normalized step length (P = 0.02), right swing (P < 0.01), right stance (P < 0.01), left single limb support (P = 0.01), left double limb support (P = 0.02), and right double limb support (P = 0.02).
Patients with NSLBP treated with the novel biomechanical device for 3 months increased walking speed through longer step length and eliminated asymmetrical differences.