Trunk postural control during unstable sitting among individuals with and without low back pain: A systematic review with an individual participant data meta-analysis

Mansour Abdullah Alshehri, Hosam Alzahrani, Wolbert van den Hoorn, David M. Klyne, Albert H. Vette, Brad D. Hendershot, Brad W.R. Roberts, Christian Larivière, David Barbado, Francisco J. Vera-Garcia, Jaap H. van Dieen, Jacek Cholewicki, Maury A. Nussbaum, Michael L. Madigan, Norman Peter Reeves, Sheri P. Silfies, Stephen H.M. Brown, Paul W. Hodges*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction Sitting on an unstable surface is a common paradigm to investigate trunk postural control among individuals with low back pain (LBP), by minimizing the influence lower extremities on balance control. Outcomes of many small studies are inconsistent (e.g., some find differences between groups while others do not), potentially due to confounding factors such as age, sex, body mass index [BMI], or clinical presentations. We conducted a systematic review with an individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis to investigate whether trunk postural control differs between those with and without LBP, and whether the difference between groups is impacted by vision and potential confounding factors. Methods We completed this review according to PRISMA-IPD guidelines. The literature was screened (up to 7th September 2023) from five electronic databases: MEDLINE, CINAHL, Embase, Scopus, and Web of Science Core Collection. Outcome measures were extracted that describe unstable seat movements, specifically centre of pressure or seat angle. Our main analyses included: 1) a two-stage IPD meta-analysis to assess the difference between groups and their interaction with age, sex, BMI, and vision on trunk postural control; 2) and a two-stage IPD meta-regression to determine the effects of LBP clinical features (pain intensity, disability, pain catastrophizing, and fear-avoidance beliefs) on trunk postural control. Results Forty studies (1,821 participants) were included for the descriptive analysis and 24 studies (1,050 participants) were included for the IPD analysis. IPD meta-analyses revealed three main findings: (a) trunk postural control was worse (higher root mean square displacement [RMSdispl], range, and long-term diffusion; lower mean power frequency) among individuals with than without LBP; (b) trunk postural control deteriorated more (higher RMSdispl, shortand long-term diffusion) among individuals with than without LBP when vision was removed; and (c) older age and higher BMI had greater adverse impacts on trunk postural control (higher short-term diffusion; longer time and distance coordinates of the critical point) among individuals with than without LBP. IPD meta-regressions indicated no associations between the limited LBP clinical features that could be considered and trunk postural control. Conclusion Trunk postural control appears to be inferior among individuals with LBP, which was indicated by increased seat movements and some evidence of trunk stiffening. These findings are likely explained by delayed or less accurate corrective responses.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0296968
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume19
Issue number1 January
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2024
Externally publishedYes

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