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Effects of Walking With a Shopping Trolley on Spinal Posture and Loading in Subjects With Neurogenic Claudication

      Abstract

      Comer CM, White D, Conaghan PG, Bird HA, Redmond AC. Effects of walking with a shopping trolley on spinal posture and loading in subjects with neurogenic claudication.

      Objectives

      To explore possible mechanisms underpinning symptom relief and improved walking tolerance in patients with neurogenic claudication (NC) when pushing a shopping trolley by evaluating the effects of a shopping trolley on spinal posture and loading patterns.

      Design

      An exploratory study of kinematic and kinetic changes in walking with and without pushing a shopping trolley in persons with NC symptoms and a comparison with asymptomatic control subjects.

      Setting

      A primary care–based musculoskeletal service.

      Participants

      Participants (n=8) with NC symptoms who have anecdotally reported symptomatic improvement when walking with a shopping trolley and a control group of asymptomatic persons (n=8).

      Interventions

      Shopping trolley.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Changes in lumbar spinal sagittal posture and ground reaction force.

      Results

      Subjects with NC and asymptomatic controls walked with significantly more flexed spinal posture (increase in flexion, 3.40°; z=3.516; P<.001) and reduced mean ground reaction forces (−6.9% of body weight; z=−3.46; P=.001) when walking with a shopping trolley. However, at the midstance point of the gait cycle, controls showed minimal reliance on the trolley, whereas, people with NC showed continued offloading.

      Conclusions

      Both posture and loading are affected by pushing a shopping trolley; however, patients with NC were found to offload the spine throughout the stance phase of gait, whereas asymptomatic controls did not.

      Key Words

      List of Abbreviations:

      %BW (percentage of body weight), Fz1 (vertical component of ground reaction force, point 1 (first peak)), Fz2 (vertical component of ground reaction force, point 2 (trough)), Fz3 (vertical component of ground reaction force, point 3 (second peak)), LSS (lumbar spinal stenosis), NC (neurogenic claudication), VGRF (vertical ground reaction force)
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