Joint coordination during whole-body lifting in women with low back pain after pregnancy

D.A.C.M. Commissaris, L.B. Nilsson-Wikmar, J.H. van Dieen, H. Hirschfeld

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    OBJECTIVE: To quantify differences in the kinematics of lifting between women with low back and/or pelvic pain after pregnancy and women without.

    DESIGN: Comparison study.

    SETTING: Research laboratory.

    PARTICIPANTS: Volunteer sample of 7 women with pain (positive pain drawing, no physical examination) and 9 female controls (not matched).

    INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable.

    MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Duration of downward and upward phases, relative instant of box lift-off, joint angles, spatial angles of trunk and pelvis, pelvic angle relative to trunk, and phase angle relationships between joints.

    RESULTS: The duration of the upward phase +/- standard deviation was longer in the pain group (1731+/-290 ms vs 1489+/-187 ms, P=.031). At box lift-off, this group had less hip joint flexion (101.9 degrees +/-20.8 degrees vs 78.7 degrees +/-12.4 degrees, P=.015) but more backward pelvis tilt relative to the trunk, that is, more lumbar spine flexion (126.3 degrees +/-16.8 degrees vs 109.0 degrees +/-12.3 degrees, P=.031). The pain group showed an immediate transition from lumbar spine flexion to extension, whereas the controls maintained peak flexion for about 600 ms. The peak phase lag between knee and hip joint extension in the upward phase was larger for the pain group (-29.7 degrees +/-8.3 degrees vs -17.2 degrees +/-5.5 degrees, P=.003).

    CONCLUSION: Women with low back and/or pelvic pain after pregnancy showed different kinematics of lifting. Further research is needed to determine the exact relationship between the altered kinematics and the underlying disorder.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1279-1289
    Number of pages11
    JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2002


    • Adult
    • Biomechanical Phenomena
    • Female
    • Humans
    • Joints
    • Lifting
    • Low Back Pain
    • Pain Measurement
    • Pelvic Pain
    • Pregnancy
    • Range of Motion, Articular
    • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
    • Statistics, Nonparametric
    • Comparative Study
    • Journal Article
    • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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