Can biomechanics research lead to more effective treatment of low back pain? A point-counterpoint debate

Jacek Cholewicki, Alan Breen, John M. Popovich, N. Peter Reeves, Shirley A. Sahrmann, Linda R. Van Dillen, Andry Vleeming, Paul W. Hodges

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although biomechanics plays a role in the development and perhaps the persistent or recurrent nature of low back pain (LBP), whether biomechanics alone can provide the basis for intervention is debated. Biomechanics, which refers to the mechanics of the body, including its neuromuscular control, has been studied extensively in LBP. But, can gains be made in understanding LBP by research focused on this component of biology in the multifactorial biopsychosocial problem of LBP? This commentary considers whether biomechanics research has the potential to advance treatment of LBP, and how likely it is that this research will lead to better treatment strategies. A point-counterpoint format is taken to present both sides of the argument. First, the challenges faced by an approach that considers biomechanics in isolation are presented. Next, we describe 3 models that place substantial emphasis on biomechanical factors. Finally, reactions to each point are presented as a foundation for further research and clinical practice to progress understanding of the place for biomechanics in guiding treatment of LBP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-436
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy
Volume49
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2019

Keywords

  • Biomechanics
  • Low back pain
  • Lumbar spine

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