Comparison of the trunk-pelvis and lower extremities sagittal plane inter-segmental coordination and variability during walking in persons with and without chronic low back pain

Samaneh Ebrahimi, Fahimeh Kamali, Mohsen Razeghi, Seyyed Arash Haghpanah
Human Movement Science 2017, 52: 55-66
Inter-segmental coordination can be influenced by chronic low back pain (CLBP). The sagittal plane lower extremities inter-segmental coordination pattern and variability, in conjunction with the pelvis and trunk, were assessed in subjects with and without non-specific CLBP during free-speed walking. Kinematic data were collected from 10 non-specific CLBP and 10 non-CLBP control volunteers while the subjects were walking at their preferred speed. Sagittal plane time-normalized segmental angles and velocities were used to calculate continuous relative phase for each data point. Mean absolute relative phase (MARP) and deviation phase (DP) were derived to quantify the trunk-pelvis and bilateral pelvis-thigh, thigh-shank and shank-foot coordination pattern and variability over the stance and swing phases of gait. Mann-Whitney U test was employed to compare the means of DP and MARP values between two groups (same side comparison). Statistical analysis revealed more in-phase/less variable trunk-pelvis coordination in the CLBP group (P<0.05). CLBP group demonstrated less variable right or left pelvis-thigh coordination pattern (P<0.05). Moreover, the left thigh-shank and left shank-foot MARP values in the CLBP group, were more in-phase than left MARP values in the non-CLBP control group during the swing phase (P<0.05). In conclusion, the sagittal plane lower extremities, pelvis and trunk coordination pattern and variability could be generally affected by CLBP during walking. These changes can be possible compensatory strategies of the motor control system which can be considered in the CLBP subjects.

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