Author(s): Keyserling WM, Sudarsan SP, Martin BJ, Haig AJ, Armstrong TJ
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Abstract A laboratory study was conducted to determine the effects of back disability status on endurance time and perceived discomfort during trunk flexion. Eighty participants (40 with chronic or recurrent low back pain (CRLBP), 40 pain-free) were tested. The trunk was flexed to 15 degrees, 30 degrees, 45 degrees and 60 degrees under three conditions: 1) continuous static flexion; 2) cyclical flexion with 20\% rest; and 3) cyclical flexion with 40\% rest. Each condition was performed for up to 600 s or until the participant reached his/her pain tolerance limit. Dependent variables included time to distracting discomfort (TDD), total endurance time (TET) and perceived discomfort. For continuous exertions, CRLBP participants had lower TDD (p < 0.001), lower TET (p < 0.001) and greater discomfort (p < 0.001) compared to pain-free controls. In both groups, TDD and TET decreased and perceived discomfort increased as the flexion angle increased. For intermittent exertions, CRLBP participants reported greater discomfort than pain-free participants (p < 0.001). Increasing rest from 20 to 40\% reduced discomfort in CRLBP participants, but produced no consistent benefit in pain-free participants. To accommodate persons with CRLBP, consideration should be given to reducing both the magnitude (angle) and duration of trunk flexion required by their jobs.
This article was published in Ergonomics
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy