Multi-segment analysis of spinal kinematics during sit-to-stand in patients with chronic low back pain
While alterations in spinal kinematics have been frequently reported in patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP), a better characterization of the kinematics during functional activities is needed to improve our understanding and therapeutic solutions for this condition. Recent studies on healthy subjects showed the value of analyzing the spine during sit-to-stand transition (STST) using multi-segment models, suggesting that additional knowledge could be gained by conducting similar assessments in CLBP patients. The objectives of this study were to characterize three dimensional kinematics at the lower lumbar (LLS), upper lumbar (ULS), lower thoracic (LTS) and upper thoracic (UTS) joints during STST, and to test the hypothesis that CLBP patients perform this movement with smaller angle and angular velocity compared to asymptomatic controls. Ten CLBP patients (with minimal to moderate disability) and 11 asymptomatic controls with comparable demographics (52% male, 37.4 +/- 5.6 years old, 22.5 +/- 2.8 kg/m(2)) were tested using a three-dimensional camera-based system following previously proposed protocols. Characteristic patterns of movement were identified at the LLS, ULS and UTS joints in the sagittal plane only. Significant differences in the form of smaller sagittal-plane angle and smaller angular velocity in the patient group compared to the control group were observed at these three joints. This indicated a more rigid spine in the patient group and suggested that CLBP rehabilitation could potentially be enhanced by targeting movement deficits in functional activities. The results further recommended the analysis of STST kinematics using a pelvis-lumbar-thoracic model including lower and upper lumbar and thoracic segments. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.