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Assessment of spinal and pelvic kinematics using inertial measurement units in clinical subgroups of persistent non-specific low back pain

Sheeran, Liba ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1502-764X, Al-Amri, Mohammad ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2806-0462, Sparkes, Valerie ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4500-9327 and Davies, Jennifer L. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7635-4815 2024. Assessment of spinal and pelvic kinematics using inertial measurement units in clinical subgroups of persistent non-specific low back pain. Sensors 24 (7) , 2127. 10.3390/s24072127

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Abstract

Inertial measurement units (IMUs) offer a portable and quantitative solution for clinical movement analysis. However, their application in non-specific low back pain (NSLBP) remains underexplored. This study compared the spine and pelvis kinematics obtained from IMUs between individuals with and without NSLBP and across clinical subgroups of NSLBP. A total of 81 participants with NSLBP with flexion (FP; n = 38) and extension (EP; n = 43) motor control impairment and 26 controls (No-NSLBP) completed 10 repetitions of spine movements (flexion, extension, lateral flexion). IMUs were placed on the sacrum, fourth and second lumbar vertebrae, and seventh cervical vertebra to measure inclination at the pelvis, lower (LLx) and upper (ULx) lumbar spine, and lower cervical spine (LCx), respectively. At each location, the range of movement (ROM) was quantified as the range of IMU orientation in the primary plane of movement. The ROM was compared between NSLBP and No-NSLBP using unpaired t-tests and across FP-NSLBP, EP-NSLBP, and No-NSLBP subgroups using one-way ANOVA. Individuals with NSLBP exhibited a smaller ROM at the ULx (p = 0.005), LLx (p = 0.003) and LCx (p = 0.01) during forward flexion, smaller ROM at the LLx during extension (p = 0.03), and a smaller ROM at the pelvis during lateral flexion (p = 0.003). Those in the EP-NSLBP group had smaller ROM than those in the No-NSLBP group at LLx during forward flexion (Bonferroni-corrected p = 0.005), extension (p = 0.013), and lateral flexion (p = 0.038), and a smaller ROM at the pelvis during lateral flexion (p = 0.005). Those in the FP-NSLBP subgroup had smaller ROM than those in the No-NSLBP group at the ULx during forward flexion (p = 0.024). IMUs detected variations in kinematics at the trunk, lumbar spine, and pelvis among individuals with and without NSLBP and across clinical NSLBP subgroups during flexion, extension, and lateral flexion. These findings consistently point to reduced ROM in NSLBP. The identified subgroup differences highlight the potential of IMU for assessing spinal and pelvic kinematics in these clinically verified subgroups of NSLBP.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Additional Information: License information from Publisher: LICENSE 1: URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, Type: open-access
Publisher: MDPI
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 April 2024
Date of Acceptance: 15 March 2024
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2024 10:00
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/167792

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