Predicting post treatment spinal strength and flexibility in work-disabled low back pain patients
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This study examined whether posttreatment trunk strength and flexibility could be predicted from initial trunk strength and flexibility, age, gender, pain severity, diagnosis, length of work disability, return-to-work expectations, anxiety, and fear of reinjury among a group of 96 injured workers with chronic occupational low back pain who completed a multidisciplinary work rehabilitation program. The results indicate that initial average torque in trunk extension, age, gender, and average pain severity contribute significantly to prediction of final average torque in trunk extension. Initial average torque in trunk flexion, age, and gender contributed significantly to prediction of final average torque in trunk flexion, and age and initial range of motion contributed significantly to the prediction of final trunk range of motion. The results indicate that prediction of trunk strength and range of motion can be accomplished from measures of trunk strength and flexibility and pain obtained prior to the onset of rehabilitation. Psychological measures were not predictive of posttreatment trunk strength and flexibility. The ability to predict posttreatment trunk strength should facilitate clinical decision making in these complex cases.
Key wordslow back pain rehabilitation isokinetic strength testing outcomes therapeutic exercise
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