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Low back pain relief, causes, measurement & prosthetic fit, production, comfort

The current issue of the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development (JRRD) includes four articles on measurement, treatment, and causes of low back pain and five articles on prosthetic research, including the affect of practitioner knowledge and technique on prosthetic fit; rapid, low cost prosthetic production; and increase of skin temperature after a prosthetic limb is donned.

Head, body movement may impact gait in patients with inner ear impairment
This study identifies strategies for improving gait in people with inner ear balance organ abnormalities. Head and body movement irregularities were compared in 17 healthy volunteers and 18 volunteers with balance organ dysfunction during a stepping task. Compared to healthy volunteers, volunteers with balance dysfunction displayed more irregular head and body motion. Although neither head nor body motion was relatively more impaired, they appeared to be abnormally coupled to one another. Gait and balance training strategies for this population should consider each patient's potential for restoring a healthy decoupling of head and body movement.

Weak back muscles related to low back pain in people with amputations
This study compares the physical and functional impairments of individuals with lower-limb amputation (LLA) with and without low back pain. Nineteen participants with LLA were placed into two groups based on lower-back pain scores. Functional limitations, iliopsoas length, hamstring length, abdominal strength, back extensor strength, and back extensor endurance were assessed. Investigators found that the incidence of low back pain was related to decreased back extensor muscle strength and back extensor muscle endurance. Individuals reporting more pain had higher levels of disability, greater iliopsoas muscle length, and less low back endurance. Participants with amputation because of trauma had greater abdominal strength than those with amputations because
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Contact: Judith LaVoie
judith@vard.org
410-962-1800 x 229
VA Research Communications Service
19-May-2005


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