Decrease in postural sway and trunk stiffness during cognitive dual-task in nonspecific chronic low back pain patients, performance compared to healthy control subjects
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Spine. - Hagerstown, Md
, p. 583-589
Study Design. A 2-group experimental design. Objective. To investigate the effect of a cognitive dual-task on postural sway of pelvis and trunk during unstable sitting in nonspecific chronic patients with low back pain (CLBP) compared to healthy control subjects. Summary of Background Data. Higher cognitive systems as well as sensory processes contribute to postural control. An increase in postural sway due to a cognitive dual task could mean more need of cognitive systems to control balance. Methods. A total of 21 CLBP patients and 21 control subjects were included based on detailed clinical criteria. Every subject was submitted to 2 postural control tests in an unstable sitting position (easy test position: 2 feet on the ground and difficult test position: 1 foot lifted). Both tests were performed with and without cognitive dual-task. A 3-dimensional motion analysis system was used measure angular displacement of trunk and pelvis in the 3 cardinal planes. Results. In the most difficult balance position, postural sway increases in the control group when the cognitive dual-task is added, for 50% of the variables the increase is significant (P between 0.02 and 0.05). On the contrary, postural sway decreases, not significantly, in the CLBP group when the dual-task is added. These findings are the same for trunk as for pelvis deviations. The Pearson correlation coefficient between trunk and pelvis movement from the CLBP group are lower for all 3 movement directions in the dual-task condition (r between 0.441 and 0.988) compared to the single task condition (r between 0.982 and 0.995). Conclusion. In nonspecific CLBP patients, a cognitive dual-task reduces both postural sway and trunk stiffness due to the distracting effect of the dual-task. This effect is only visible when the balance task is difficult.