Correlation between Trunk-Pelvis Inter-Segmental Coordination Parameters during Walking and Disability Level in Chronic Low Back Pain Patients

S Ebrahimi, F Kamali, M Razeghi, S A Haghpanah


Background: Chronic low back pain (CLBP) disability has been particularly frustrating because its treatment has been a great therapeutic challenge. Disability has been suggested to depend on different factors that should be found and considered in the medical management. The inter-segmental coordination is often impaired in CLBP subjects; however, to the best of our knowledge, there is no evidence about the relationship between the existence of coordination problems and disability in CLBP patients.

Objective: To evaluate the correlation between sagittal plane trunk-pelvis inter-segmental coordination parameters during walking and disability level in CLBP patients.

Methods: Kinematic data were collected from 16 non-specific CLBP (18-40 years) volunteers during walking. Sagittal plane time-normalized segmental angles and velocities were used to calculate continuous relative phase for each data point. Coordination parameters, mean absolute relative phase (MARP) and deviation phase (DP) were derived to quantify the trunk-pelvis coordination pattern and variability during gait cycles, respectively. The disability level was quantified through Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) questionnaire. Pearson correlation coefficient was used to find the probable correlation between coordination parameters and disability level.

Results: The analysis demonstrated a significant correlation between sagittal plane MARP or DP and disability level (%ODI) in CLBP subjects during walking (r= -0.806 P<0.001 and r= -0.856, P<0.001, respectively).

Conclusion: This study demonstrated that the lower the MARP (more in-phase pattern) and DP (less variable pattern) in the CLBP subjects, the more disability existing in such patients. The results suggest that clinicians should look beyond pain management when prescribing rehabilitation for CLBP and consider interventions that target segmental coordination improvement to manage CLBP induced disability.


Chronic Low Back Pain, Continuous Relative Phase, Gait, Biomechanics, Disability

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eISSN: 2251-7200        JBPE NLM ID: 101589641

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