Study Design: Single-group, posttest only, using a sample of convenience. Objective: To measure the repositioning error of subjects with low back pain for lumbar sagittal movement using a simple kinesthetic test previously described. Background: Patients with low back pain are commonly observed to have difficulty in adopting a mid or neutral position of the lumbar spine. Methods and Measurements: Twenty subjects with low back pain were required to reproduce an upright neutral posture of the lumbar spine following movement into flexion in a sitting position. Trunk positioning accuracy was measured with an electromagnetic tracking device. Results: The mean absolute value of the repositioning error in the sagittal plane was 2.25° ± 0.88° on day 1 and 2.32° ± 1.62° on day 2. The performance of patients with low back pain was similar to that of asymptomatic patients in a previous study, although subjects with low back pain overshot the neutral position more frequently (79%) than did nonimpaired subjects (50%). Conclusions: Subjects with low back pain may have attempted to use extra mechanoreceptive cues to compensate for some kinesthetic deficit. Nevertheless, the kinesthetic test used was not sensitive enough to detect any repositioning deficits, and reasons for this are explored.
J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1999;29(5):294-299.
Key Words: kinesthesia, back pain, measurement