Is lumbar lordosis related to low back pain development during prolonged standing?

Christopher J. Sorensen, Barbara J. Norton, Jack P. Callaghan, Ching Ting Hwang, Linda R. Van Dillen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: An induced-pain paradigm has been used in back-healthy people to understand risk factors for developing low back pain during prolonged standing. Objectives: The purposes of this study were to (1) compare baseline lumbar lordosis in back-healthy participants who do (Pain Developers) and do not (Non-Pain Developers) develop low back pain during 2h of standing, and (2) examine the relationship between lumbar lordosis and low back pain intensity. Design: Cross-sectional. Method: First, participants stood while positions of markers placed superficial to the lumbar vertebrae were recorded using a motion capture system. Following collection of marker positions, participants stood for 2h while performing light work tasks. At baseline and every 15min during standing, participants rated their low back pain intensity on a visual analog scale. Lumbar lordosis was calculated using marker positions collected prior to the 2h standing period. Lumbar lordosis was compared between pain developers and non-pain developers. In pain developers, the relationship between lumbar lordosis and maximum pain was examined. Results/findings: There were 24 (42%) pain developers and 33 (58%) non-pain developers. Lumbar lordosis was significantly larger in pain developers compared to non-pain developers (Mean difference=4.4°, 95% Confidence Interval=0.9° to 7.8°, Cohen's d=0.7). The correlation coefficient between lumbar lordosis and maximum pain was 0.46 (P=0.02). Conclusion: The results suggest that standing in more lumbar lordosis may be a risk factor for low back pain development during prolonged periods of standing. Identifying risk factors for low back pain development can inform preventative and early intervention strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-557
Number of pages5
JournalManual Therapy
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

Keywords

  • Induced-pain paradigm
  • Low back pain
  • Lumbar lordosis
  • Prolonged standing

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