Effects of Load Carriage on Lumbopelvic Motor Control
Authors: Daniel HK Chow
Abstract: Load carriage has become a concern in many industrialized countries and problems of musculoskeletal pain and stress on spinal structures due to load carriage have been widely reported. Various studies have been conducted to investigate the etiology of back pain due to load carriage. As people with low back pain exhibit abnormal spinal control, effects of load carriage on spinal control have been investigated in static upright stance. However, its effect on dynamic spinal control is not clear. In this study, the effects of load carriage on dynamic spinal control were investigated. Lumbopelvic movement control of 12 healthy female volunteers was quantified whilst performing a reaching task under four loading conditions, i.e. no load, carrying backpack of 5%, 10% and 15% body weight (BW). It was shown that lumbopelvic coordination was less in-phase and more variable during load carriage of 10% and 15%BW in forward reaching movement, suggesting greater alteration in spinal motor control at heavier weights. As abnormal movement strategies tend to increase the risk of spinal injury, pragmatic approaches should be considered to eradicate the adverse effect of heavy load carriage on spinal motor control.
Keywords: Load Carriage, Spinal Motor Control, Lumbopelvic Coordination
Cite this paper: