A novel system for the dynamic assessment of back shape.

Medical engineering & physics

PubMedID: 20708957

Taylor WR, Consmüller T, Rohlmann A. A novel system for the dynamic assessment of back shape. Med Eng Phys. 2010;32(9):1080-3.
Low back pain can be exacerbated by poor posture, particularly over extended stationary periods such as when sitting or standing. The repetitive determination of back shape could allow an ongoing assessment of subject specific posture to better understand the mechanisms of back pain. The portable measurement system SpineDMS(©) allows the dynamic, extended assessment of back shape in six segments of the lumbar and lower thoracic spine. The objective of this study was to assess the accuracy and repeatability of the system to determine its applicability for assessing back shape in patients. To assess the accuracy and repeatability of angle measurements, six SpineDMS(©) sensor strips (three systems) were repeatedly bent taut over a range of defined arcs. Measurements of spinal curvature were additionally conducted in 10 volunteers who performed flexion and extension exercises, with all results compared against reference marker data. The measurement sensors had a high accuracy and excellent repeatability (mean intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) >0.98), with test-retest reliability ICCs of >0.98. Measurements in volunteers showed that SpineDMS(©) was capable of detecting the shape and movement of the human back. This study showed that SpineDMS(©) could be deployed as a reliable diagnostic tool for back posture, as well as movements in the sagittal plane.