Pushing/Pulling Exertions Disturb Trunk Postural Stability
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The stability of the spine can be estimated from kinematic variability and nonlinear analyses of seated balance tasks. However, processing methods require sufficient signal duration and test-retest experiments require that the assessment must be reliable. Our goal was to characterize the reliability and establish the trial duration for spine stability assessment. Stationarity, kinematic variability and nonlinear dynamic stability were quantified from kinetic and kinematic data collected during balance performance. Stationarity results showed that a minimum 30 seconds test duration is necessary. Intra-session reliability was excellent, however inter-session reliability needed more test trials to achieve excellent reliability. Few studies have investigated the spinal stability during pushing and pulling exertions. Past studies suggest that the spine can be stabilized by paraspinal muscle stiffness as well as reflexes. We hypothesized that the stability of the spine decreases with exertion force and decreases during pushing more than during pulling exertion. Kinematic variability and nonlinear dynamic stability measurements were quantified from the balance performance during isometric pushing and pulling tasks. Results demonstrated that spinal stability decreased with exertion force and decreased a greater amount during pushing task than during pulling task. Stiffness alone may be insufficient to stabilize the trunk. Results may be able to be explained by slower reflex delay. The results suggested that pushing and pulling exertions have a potential risk of low-back disorders.
- Masters Theses