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The influence of age and gender on lumbar spine sagittal plane range of motion. A study of 1126 healthy subjects

M S Sullivan, C E Dickinson, J D Troup
Spine 1994 March 15, 19 (6): 682-6
Inclinometers have been recommended for the measurement of lumbar spine range of motion (ROM) in the assessment of disability. Range of motion thresholds that determine impairment ratings have been established without regard to age and gender or variances of the measures. This investigation determined the effect of gender and age on lumbar spine sagittal plane ROM in 1126 healthy male and female volunteers. Results indicate that distinct differences exist between men and women in flexion angle and extension angle, whereas little difference exists between genders for total lumbar sagittal ROM. Total sagittal ROM, flexion angle, and extension angle declined as age increased. Because of the high degree of variability in the measurements, detecting impairment in ROM with this method is problematic.

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