OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the global and regional lumbar spine and pelvis postural alignment in standing individuals with a flat lumbar posture using an inertial measurement unit (IMU) system.
METHODS: A total of 80 symptomatic young volunteers (25 men and 55 women in their early 20s) were recruited at Inje University in Gimhae, South Korea for this study. Participants stood in a comfortable posture for 5 seconds with IMUs on the T10, L3, and S2 level. Participants were then categorized into 3 groups according to the global lumbar lordosis (GLL) angle (T10-S2): <20°, 20° ≤ GLL angle < 30°, and 30° ≤ GLL angle < 40°. We compared the GLL and regional lumbar lordosis (RLL) angles among the 3 groups.
RESULTS: As GLL increased, RLL angles (upper, P = .001; lower, P < .001) tended to increase, whereas the sacrum angle decreased (P < .001). A stepwise regression model showed that the sacrum angle was the single best predictor of GLL in standing participants. Based on IMU measurements, participants with GLL <20° are considered representative of participants with a flat lumbar posture.
CONCLUSION: Posture measurements in a standing position conducted to assess lordosis should consider the relationship between GLL and RLL rather than GLL or RLL alone. We found that S2 was the best predictor of GLL.
Author keywords: Posture, Standing Position, Spine
Author affiliations: SSS, WGY: Department of Physical Therapy, College of Healthcare Medical Science and Engineering, Inje University, Gimhae-si, Gyeongsangnam-do, Republic of Korea
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