Neutral lumbar spine sitting posture in pain-free subjects
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Sitting is a common aggravating factor in low back pain (LBP), and re-education of sitting posture is a common aspect of LBP management. However, there is debate regarding what is an optimal sitting posture. This pilot study had 2 aims; to investigate whether pain-free subjects can be reliably positioned in a neutral sitting posture (slight lumbar lordosis and relaxed thorax); and to compare perceptions of neutral sitting posture to habitual sitting posture (HSP). The lower lumbar spine HSP of seventeen pain-free subjects was initially recorded. Subjects then assumed their own subjectively perceived ideal posture (SPIP). Finally, 2 testers independently positioned the subjects into a tester perceived neutral posture (TPNP). The inter-tester reliability of positioning in TPNP was very good (intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) = 0.91, mean difference = 3% of range of motion). A repeated measures ANOVA revealed that HSP was significantly more flexed than both SPIP and TPNP (p <0.05). There was no significant difference between SPIP and TPNP (p >0.05). HSP was more kyphotic than all other postures. This study suggests that pain-free subjects can be reliably positioned in a neutral lumbar sitting posture. Further investigation into the role of neutral sitting posture in LBP subjects is warranted.
NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Manual Therapy. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Manual Therapy, 15, 6, 2010 DOI 10.1016/j.math.2010.06.005
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