Lumbar lordosis and pelvic inclination in adults with chronic low back pain

Phys Ther. 2000 Mar;80(3):261-75.


Background and purpose: The causes of lumbopelvic imbalances in standing have been widely accepted by physical therapists, but there is a lack of scientific evidence available to support them. We examined the association between 9 variables and pelvic inclination and lumbar lordosis during relaxed standing.

Subjects: Thirty men and 30 women with chronic low back pain (CLBP) for at least 4 months were examined (mean age=54.9 years, SD=9, range=40.4-69.8).

Methods: Multiple linear regression modeling was used to assess the association of pelvic inclination and the magnitude of lumbar lordosis in standing with age, sex, body mass index (BMI), Oswestry Back Pain Disability Questionnaire (ODQ) scores, physical activity level, hip flexor muscle length, abdominal muscle force, and range of motion (ROM) for lumbar flexion and extension.

Results: In women, age, BMI, and ODQ scores were associated univariately and multivariately with pelvic inclination. In men, lumbar extension ROM was related univariately to pelvic inclination; age, lumbar extension ROM, and ODQ scores were associated multivariately. Lumbar lordosis was associated univariately with only lumbar extension ROM for women and men. A weak correlation was found between angle of pelvic inclination and magnitude of lumbar lordosis in standing (r=. 31 for women, r=.37 for men).

Conclusion and discussion: The odds ratio of having CLBP is increased if the score on the double-leg lowering test for abdominal muscles exceeds 50 degrees for men and 60 degrees for women. In patients with CLBP, the magnitude of the lumbar lordosis and pelvic inclination in standing is not associated with the force production of the abdominal muscles.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging
  • Anthropometry
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Body Mass Index
  • Chronic Disease
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Lordosis / complications*
  • Lordosis / physiopathology
  • Low Back Pain / complications*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscles / physiology
  • Posture
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Surveys and Questionnaires