Background—Prior studies have reported differences in lumbo-pelvic kinematics during a trunk forward bending and backward return task between individuals with and without chronic low back pain; yet, the literature on lumbo-pelvic kinematics of patients with acute low back pain is scant. Therefore, the purpose of this study was set to investigate lumbo-pelvic kinematics in this cohort.

Methods—A case-control study was conducted to investigate the differences in pelvic and thoracic rotation along with lumbar flexion as well as their first and second time derivatives between females with and without acute low back pain. Participants in each group completed one experimental session wherein they performed trunk forward bending and backward return at self-selected and fast paces.

Findings—Compared to controls, individuals with acute low back pain had larger pelvic range of rotations and smaller lumbar range of flexions. Patients with acute low back pain also adopted a slower pace compared to asymptomatic controls which was reflected in smaller maximum values for angular velocity, deceleration and acceleration of lumbar flexion. Irrespective of participant group, smaller pelvic range of rotation and larger lumbar range of flexion were observed in younger vs. older participants.

Interpretation—Reduced lumbar range of flexion and slower task pace, observed in patients with acute low back pain, may be the result of a neuromuscular adaptation to reduce the forces and deformation in the lower back tissues and avoid pain aggravation.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in Clinical Biomechanics, v. 41, p. 66-71.

© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

This manuscript version is made available under the CC‐BY‐NC‐ND 4.0 license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/.

The document available for download is the author's post-peer-review final draft of the article.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Funding Information

This work was supported in part by the National Center for Research Resources and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences [UL1TR000117]. Dr. Van Dillen’s contribution was supported by grant NICHD/NCMRR R01 HD047709.