SAGE Journals

Difference in postural stability between STarT Back Tool subgroups of patients with low back pain under conditions of sensory deprivation and cognitive load

Posted on 2022-07-21 - 12:21

We explored differences in postural stability between subgroups of patients with low back pain (LBP) and varying risk levels for developing chronicity measured using the Subgroups for Targeted Treatment (STarT) Back Tool.


This was a cross-sectional, single-session, double-blind experimental study among 65 participants who had LBP for more than 14 days. Postural stability was assessed by measuring the center of pressure (COP) range, displacement area, and velocity in anterior–posterior and mediolateral directions under four sensory and cognitive conditions: (i) eyes open and counting forward, (ii) eyes closed and counting forward, (iii) eyes closed and counting forward in multiples of seven, and (iv) eyes closed and counting backward in multiples of seven. The participants were stratified into low-/medium- (n = 53) and high-risk (n = 9) subgroups.


There were no significant between-group differences among patients with LBP stratified as having a low/medium or high risk of chronicity in postural stability and sensory and cognitive conditions.


Impaired postural stability is important to consider when treating patients with LBP. However, we found that these impairments were not strongly aggravated in groups with a higher risk of chronicity, as measured using the STarT Back Tool.


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