Background. Purpose of this study was to determine the spinal shrinkage in several activities of daily life and to assess a relationship with intradiscal pressure during these activities. Low back pain is thought to be related to spinal load. In a clinical evaluation of low back pain as provoked by everyday activities, we found a relationship between the amount of complaints during static activities and intradiscal pressure. However, because invasive intradiscal pressure measurements during dynamic activities like walking and cycling are complicated and hardly done before, an analogue relationship between low back complaints and dynamic activities is lacking. Methods. Therefore spinal load was ascertained by stadiometric measurement of the decrease in standing height, so-called "spinal shrinkage", quantified by the exposure of a 1-h adopted posture or activity. Ten subjects performed five daily life activities: standing, sitting, walking, cycling and lying down. Findings. By doing different activities during 1 h, immediate after getting up in the morning, following average values for shrinkage were measured: standing -7.4 mm (SD 0.5); sitting -5.0 mm (SD 0.6); walking -7.9 mm (SD 0.5); cycling -3.7 mm (SD 0.4) and lying down +0.4 mm (SD 0.5). Interpretation. Overall, good correlation was found between spinal shrinkage and intradiscal pressure. The use of spinal shrinkage measurement seems a good alternative for intradiscal pressure measurement in static situations, but is still questionable in dynamic situations.

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Clinical Biomechanics
Biomedical Physics & Technology

van Deursen, L.L.J.M, van Deursen, D.L, Snijders, C.J, & Wilke, H.J. (2005). Relationship between everyday activities and spinal shrinkage. Clinical Biomechanics, 20(5), 547–550. doi:10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2005.01.005