Does the Evidence Support the Existence of Lumbar Spine Coupled Motion? A Critical Review of the Literature

Cook C, Sizer P, Brismée JM, Showalter C, Huijbregts P

The objective of this study was to synthesize the current literature addressing coupled motion between side bending and rotation in the lumbar spine to deter­mine if a consistent pattern exists across articles. Using OVID databases, articles published between 1982 and 2006 that addressed coupled motion between side bending and rotation in the lumbar spine were reviewed and categorized. 24 articles in which 32 analyses addressed the clinical question were identified.  Seventeen of the 24 articles identified concluded that some form of coupled motion exists; however, there was little agreement across articles as to the specific characteristics of coupled motion. The authors conclude that the inconsistency in reported patterns of coupled motion suggests that physical therapists should use caution when applying concepts of coupled motion to the evaluation and treatment of patients with low back pain.

Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy, 2007, 37(7), 412

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