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Title: Does the performance of five back-associated exercises relate to the presence of low back pain? : a cross-sectional observational investigation in regional Australian council workers
Authors : Gabel, Charles Philip
Mokhtarinia, Hamid Reza
Hoffman, Jonathan
Osborne, Jason
Laakso, E-Liisa
Melloh, Markus
Published in : BMJ Open
Volume(Issue) : 8
Issue : 8
Publisher / Ed. Institution : BMJ Publishing Group
Issue Date: 2018
License (according to publishing contract) : CC BY-NC 4.0: Attribution - Non commercial 4.0 International
Type of review: Peer review (publication)
Language : English
Subjects : Functional exercises; Low back pain; Preventive medicine; Rehabilitation medicine
Subject (DDC) : 617.5: Orthopaedic surgery
Abstract: Objectives: Investigate the relationships between the ability/inability to perform five physical test exercises and the presence or absence of low back pain (LBP). Setting Regional Australian council training facility. Participants: Consecutive participants recruited during 39 back education classes (8–26 participants per class) for workers in general office/administration, parks/gardens maintenance, roads maintenance, library, child care and management. Total sample (n=539) was reduced through non-consent and insufficient demographic data to n=422. Age 38.6±15.3 years, range 18–64 years, 67.1% male. Methods: Cross-sectional, exploratory, observational investigation. LBP presence was ascertained from a three-response option questionnaire: 0=none/rarely (no) 1=sometimes (some), 2=mostly/always (most). Statistical correlation was performed with the number of the five test exercises the individual successfully performed: (1) extension in lying: 3 s; (2) ‘toilet squat’; feet flat, feet touched: 3 s; (3) full squat then stand up: 5 times; (4) supine sit-up, knees flexed: 10 times; and (5) leg extension, supine bilateral: 10 times. Interventions: Nil. Results: For the group ‘no-some’, 94.3% completed 4–5 test exercises, while for group ‘With’, 95.7% completed 0–1 test exercises. The relationship between LBP presence and number of exercises performed was highly significant (χ2 (10)=300.61, p<0.001). Furthermore, multinomial logistic regression predicting LBP (0=no, 1=some, 2=most) from the number of exercises completed, substantially improved the model fit (initial-2LL=348.246, final-2LL=73.620, χ2 (2)=274.626, p<0.001). As the number of exercises performed increased, the odds of reporting ‘some LBP’ or ‘most LBP’ dropped substantially (ORs of 0.34 and 0.17, respectively). Conclusion: The ability to complete/not complete five test exercises correlated statistically and significantly with a higher LBP absence/presence in a general working population. Training individuals to complete such exercises could facilitate reductions in LBP incidence; however, causality cannot be inferred. Randomised trials are recommended to establish the potential efficacy of exercise-based approaches, considering these five selected exercises, for predicting and managing LBP.
Departement: Health Professions
Organisational Unit: Institute of Health Sciences (IGW)
Publication type: Article in scientific journal
DOI : 10.21256/zhaw-4989
ISSN: 2044-6055
Appears in Collections:Publikationen Gesundheit

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