Progressive isoinertial lifting evaluation. II. A comparison with isokinetic lifting in a disabled chronic low-back pain industrial population

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1988 Sep;13(9):998-1002.


The Progressive Isoinertial Lifting Evaluation (PILE), as described in Part I of this series of articles, is a simplified test combining psychophysical and isoinertial protocols to provide an unconstrained lifting assessment. In the second part of this study, 100 chronically disabled low-back pain patients (57 men and 43 women) were studied at two points: 1) at initial evaluation, when referred for possible entry into a comprehensive Functional Restoration treatment program; and 2) at the conclusion of the treatment (an average 7 weeks later). Results of simultaneous lumbar PILE and Cybex Liftask (Lumex, Ronkonkoma, NY) tests are presented, showing that patients may frequently double or triple initial lifting capacity after undergoing the functional restoration training program, achieving lifting levels at or above normal for incumbent industrial workers. Overall, results demonstrate that the PILE test can be an effective baseline screening test for lifting capacity under certain circumstances. Although several drawbacks affecting the PILE as an isolated test are discussed, its usefulness as part of a battery of physical capacity tests making up a quantitative functional evaluation is clearly demonstrated. Finally, the potential use of PILE as a safe, inexpensive, simple, and relevant screening test for frequent lifting capacity in worker selection is discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Back Pain / physiopathology*
  • Back Pain / rehabilitation
  • Chronic Disease
  • Disability Evaluation / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Occupational Diseases / rehabilitation
  • Psychophysics / methods
  • Reference Values
  • Sports*
  • Weight Lifting*