Content » Vol 44, Issue 9

Original report

Reliability and validity of a kinematic spine model during active trunk movement in healthy subjects and patients with chronic non-specific low back pain

Benjamin Hidalgo, Maxime Gilliaux, William Poncin, Christine Detrembleur
Université Catholique de Louvain, Institute of Neuroscience, BE-1200 Brussels, Belgium. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1015


Objective: To develop a standardized, reliable, valid spine model of active trunk movements that accurately discriminates kinematic patterns of patients with chronic non-specific low back pain from those of healthy subjects.
Design: Comparative cohort study.
Subjects: Healthy subjects (n = 25) and patients with chronic non-specific low back pain (n = 25) aged 30–65 years.
Methods: Subjects performed 7 trunk movements from a seated position at non-imposed speed during 2 sessions. Nine markers on bony landmarks measured range of motion and speed of 5 spinal segments, recorded by 8 optoelectronic cameras.
Results: Both groups showed good–excellent reliability in all movements for range of motion and speed of all spinal segments (intraclass correlation (ICC), 0. 70–0. 96; standard error of measurement, expressed as a percentage, 19. 4–3. 3%). The minimal detectable change in the patient group was 16. 7–53. 7%. Range of motion and speed in all spinal segments for trunk flexion, rotation, and flexion with rotation differed significantly between groups (p < 0. 001), with large/very large effect sizes (Cohen’s d = 1. 2–2). Binary logistic regression yielded sensitivities/specificities of 92%/84% for range of motion and 92%/80% for speed.
Conclusion: Kinematic variables are valid, reliable measures and can be used clinically to diagnose chronic non-specific low back pain, manage treatment, and as quantitative outcome measures for clinical trial interventions.

Lay Abstract


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