Background: Research suggests that people with lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) would benefit from increased physical activity. Yet, to date, we do not have disease-specific activity guidelines for LSS, and the nature of free-living physical activity (performance) in LSS remains unknown. LSS care providers could endorse the 2008 United States Physical Activity Guidelines; however, we do not know if this is realistic. The goal of the present study was to determine the proportion of individuals with LSS meeting the 2008 Guidelines. A secondary goal was to better understand the nature of physical performance in this population.
Study design: Retrospective study.
Patient sample: People from the Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Accelerometry Database, all of whom have both radiographic and clinical LSS and are seeking various treatments for their symptoms.
Outcome measures: Seven-day accelerometry (functional outcome) and demographics (self-reported).
Methods: For the present study, we analyzed only baseline data that were obtained before any new treatments. Patients with at least 4 valid days of baseline accelerometry data were included. We determined the proportion of individuals with LSS meeting the 2008 US Physical Activity Guidelines of at least 150 minutes of moderate-vigorous (MV) physical activity per week in bouts of 10 minutes or more. We also used the novel Physical Performance analysis designed by our group to determine time spent in varying intensities of activity. There are no conflicts of interest to disclose.
Results: We analyzed data from 75 individuals with a mean age of 68 (SD 9), 37% of whom were male. Three people (4%) were considered Meeting Guidelines (at least 150 MV minutes/week), and 56 (75%) were considered Inactive with not even 1 MV minute/week. With the 10-minute bout requirement removed, 10 of 75 (13%) achieved the 150-minute threshold. The average time spent in sedentary activity was 82%, and of time spent in nonsedentary activity, 99.6% was in the light activity range.
Conclusions: In conclusion, the present study confirms that people with symptomatic LSS, neurogenic claudication, walking limitations, and LSS-related disability are extremely sedentary and are not meeting guidelines for physical activity. There is an urgent need for interventions aimed at reducing sedentary behavior and increasing the overall level of physical activity in LSS, not only to improve function but also to prevent diseases of inactivity. The present study suggests that reducing sedentary time, increasing time spent in light intensity activity, and increasing time spent in higher intensities of light activity may be appropriate as initial goals for exercise interventions in people with symptomatic LSS and neurogenic claudication, transitioning to moderate activity when appropriate. Results of the present study also demonstrate the importance of employing disease-specific measures for assessment of performance in LSS, and highlight the potential value of these methods for developing targeted and realistic goals for physical activity. Physical activity goals could be personalized using objective assessment of performance with accelerometry. The present study is one step toward a personalized medicine approach for people with LSS, focusing on increasing physical function.
Keywords: Accelerometry; Exercise; Lumbar spinal stenosis; Performance; Physical activity; Physical activity guidelines.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.