Activity Characteristics and Movement Patterns in People With and People Without Low Back Pain Who Participate in Rotation-Related Sports

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Many risk factors have been identified as contributing to the development or persistence of low back pain (LBP). However, the juxtaposition of both high and low levels of physical activity being associated with LBP reflects the complexity of the relationship between a risk factor and LBP. Moreover, not everyone with an identified risk factor, such as a movement pattern of increased lumbopelvic rotation, has LBP.

Objective:

The purpose of this study was to examine differences in activity level and movement patterns between people with and people without chronic or recurrent LBP who participate in rotation-related sports.

Design Case:

Case-control study.

Setting:

University laboratory environment.

Participants:

52 people with chronic or recurrent LBP and 25 people without LBP who all play a rotation-related sport.

Main Outcome Measures:

Participants completed self-report measures including the Baecke Habitual Activity Questionnaire and a questionnaire on rotation-related sports. A 3-dimensional motion-capture system was used to collect movement-pattern variables during 2 lower-limb-movement tests.

Results:

Compared with people without LBP, people with LBP reported a greater difference between the sport subscore and an average work and leisure composite subscore on the Baecke Habitual Activity Questionnaire (F = 6.55, P = .01). There were no differences between groups in either rotation-related-sport participation or movement-pattern variables demonstrated during 2 lower-limb-movement tests (P > .05 for all comparisons).

Conclusions:

People with and people without LBP who regularly play a rotation-related sport differed in the amount and nature of activity participation but not in movement-pattern variables. An imbalance between level of activity during sport and daily functions may contribute to the development or persistence of LBP in people who play a rotation-related sport.

Chimenti is with the School of Nursing, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY. Scholtes is with the Program in Physical Therapy, Saint Louis University, St Louis, MO. Van Dillen is with the Program in Physical Therapy and Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO.