Regional lumbar motion and patient-rated outcomes: A secondary analysis of data from a randomized clinical trial

Rune M. Mieritz, Gert Bronfort, Jan Hartvigsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship in change scores between regional lumbar motion and patient-rated pain of the previous week and back-related function in chronic low back pain patients enrolled in a randomized clinical trial and treated with either exercise therapy or spinal manipulation using 6 different motion parameters. Methods: Regional lumbar motions were sampled using a 6 degrees of freedom instrumented spatial linkage system in 199 participants at baseline and 12-week follow-up. The regional lumbar motion data were analyzed as a total cohort as well as relative to subgroup stratifications; back pain only vs back and leg pain, and treatment modality. For identifying clinically meaningful improvements in the measurements of back pain and back-related function, we used a 30% threshold. Results: The relationship between change scores in patient-rated outcomes and objective measures of regional lumbar motion was found to be weak. In contrast, distribution of pain and treatment received affected associations between motion parameters and patient-rated outcomes. Thus, stronger correlation coefficients and significant differences between clinically relevant improved vs no clinical relevant change were found in some motion parameters in the subgroup with back pain only and the treatment group receiving spinal manipulation. Conclusion: Overall, changes in regional lumbar motion were poorly associated with patient-rated outcomes measured by back-related function and back pain intensity scores. However, associations between regional lumbar motion vs patient-rated pain and back-related function were different in relative subgroups (back pain only vs back and leg pain and treatment).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)628-640
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by the Danish Agency for Science, Technology, and Innovation; Danish Chiropractors Research Foundation; and the University of Southern Denmark. No conflicts of interest were reported for this study.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2014 by National University of Health Sciences.


  • Biomechanics
  • Exercise therapy
  • Low back pain
  • Manipulation
  • Range of motion
  • Spinal


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