This study examined the changes in spinal kinematics and muscle recruitment of the lumbopelvic region associated with prolonged squatting. Eight subjects with chronic nonspecific low back pain (LBP) and eight asymptomatic subjects (AS) performed squat-to-stand and reverse movements, before and immediately after 15 min deep-squatting. Within-group and between-group differences in lumbopelvic kinematics and electromyographic activity acquired in lumbar erector spinae (ES), gluteus maximus (GM), and vastus lateralis (VL) were analyzed. During squat-to-stand after squatting, the LBP group showed slower then faster lumbar movement in the second and third quartiles, respectively. In the second quartile, the AS group moved with a significantly greater lumbar angle. However, significantly greater bilateral GM activity (+4–4.5%) was found in the LBP group only. A more profound decrease in bilateral ES activity (−10%) was also shown in the LBP group, yet this was nonsignificant compared to the AS group (−4%). In the third quartile, only the LBP group moved with a significantly greater lumbar angle, together with a significant increase in bilateral ES (+6–8%) and GM muscle (+2–3%) activity. The findings of the altered pattern of joint kinematics and recruitment of the key lumbopelvic muscles displayed in the LBP group inform on the possible mechanisms that may contribute to the increased risk of developing lumbar dysfunctions for people who work in prolonged squatting postures.
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