Assessment of Lumbar Spine Height Following Sustained Lumbar Extension Posture: Comparison Between Musculoskeletal Ultrasonography and Stadiometry

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Abstract

Objectives:

The purpose of this study was to correlate sitting height measured by stadiometry with lumbar spine height (LSH) modifications measured by musculoskeletal ultrasonography (MSU).

Methods:

Eighteen healthy young adults were recruited for this study (mean age: 21.5 ± 1.5 years). All subjects were tested in the following sequence: (1) lying supine for 10 minutes, (2) sitting under loaded (9.5 kg) and unloaded conditions for 5 minutes each, (3) lying supine for 15 minutes with passive lumbar extension, and (4) sitting unloaded for 5 minutes. Both stadiometry and MSU measurements were taken after each step of the testing sequence.

Results:

Following the loaded sitting step, sitting height (measured by stadiometry) decreased by 3.4 ± 1.6 mm, whereas following sustained lumbar extension, sitting height increased by 5.4 ± 3.5 mm (P < .05). Following loaded sitting and sustained lumbar extension, LSH decreased by 3.8 ± 1.7 mm and increased by 6.2 ± 4.1 mm, respectively (P < .05). On the basis of the mean differences (between the different steps of the testing sequence), the mean correlation coefficient and the mean coefficient of determination between stadiometry and MSU measurements were calculated at 0.93 ± 0.07 and 0.88 ± 0.13, respectively, and no statistical differences were observed (P > .05).

Conclusions:

In vivo measurements of sitting height changes, measured using stadiometry, were strongly correlated with LSH changes, measured using ultrasonography.

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