This study sought to examine the validity of an induced pain paradigm in which people stand while performing simulated light work tasks (standing paradigm). Initially, people with low back pain (LBP) reported the quality and location of their typical symptoms on a body pain diagram. Then, people with LBP and back-healthy people stood for 2 hours and reported the intensity, quality, and location of symptoms at baseline and every 15 minutes. Quality and location of typical symptoms of people with LBP were compared with their symptoms during standing. Back-healthy people were separated into pain developers (PDs) and nonpain developers. Symptom quality and location were compared between people with LBP and Pds. There were no differences in the quality and location of typical symptoms and symptoms during standing in people with LBP (P>0.05). Three symptom descriptors were used by >30% of people with LBP to describe typical symptoms. Only 2 people with LBP used these descriptors to describe typical symptoms but not while standing. There weren’t any reported differences in the quality and location of symptoms in standing between people with LBP and PDs (P>0.05). Four symptom descriptors were used by >30% of participants with LBP during standing. There were no symptoms reported by PDs that were not reported by people with LBP.
This study provides evidence that symptoms experienced during the standing paradigm are comparable to symptoms experienced by people with LBP and, therefore, offers support for the validity of the paradigm.