Altered erector spinae activity and trunk motion occurs with moderate and severe unilateral hip OA

J Orthop Res. 2018 Jul;36(7):1826-1832. doi: 10.1002/jor.23841. Epub 2018 Jan 16.


People with hip osteoarthritis (OA) demonstrate altered movement patterns in the hip joint, as well as the pelvis and spine. While kinematic changes have been described in the literature, little is known about the associated erector spinae (ES) activity. Increased or prolonged ES activity may contribute to the low back pain often associated with hip OA. Using a cross-sectional cohort study, 3D trunk motions and ES surface electromyography were recorded on 19 individuals with severe OA (SOA), 20 with moderate hip OA (MOA), and 19 asymptomatic (ASYM) individuals during treadmill walking, using standardized collection and processing procedures. Principal component analysis was used to derive electromyographic amplitude and temporal waveform features. Three-dimensional thoracic motion in a global system, and thoraco-lumbar motion was calculated. Various statistical analyses determined between group differences (α = 0.05). In the sagittal plane, thoracic motion was greater in the SOA group (p < 0.001), whereas the ASYM group used less thoraco-lumbar motion than either OA group (p ≤ 0.002). Greater frontal plane angular excursion during early stance was found in the thoracic region in the SOA group (p ≤ 0.001) . With increasing OA severity, bilateral ES activity increased during the swing phase of gait (p < 0.001), whereas during stance, the SOA ipsilateral ES activity was higher than other groups (p < 0.001). Statement of clinical significance: with moderate and severe OA, sagittal, and frontal trunk motion increases during gait. ES activity during the entire gait cycle is more sustained with increased disease severity, which may aide our understanding of low back pain associated with hip OA. © 2017 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 36:1826-1832, 2018.

Keywords: electromyography; erector spinae; gait analysis; hip osteoarthritis; principal component analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Back Muscles / physiopathology*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Electromyography
  • Gait
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Low Back Pain
  • Middle Aged
  • Orthopedics
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / physiopathology*
  • Pelvis
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Time Factors
  • Torso / physiopathology*
  • Walking