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Energy Impairments in Older Adults With Low Back Pain and Radiculopathy: A Matched Case-Control Study

Published:April 23, 2018DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2018.03.016

      Highlights

      • Older adults with CLBPR have poor energy efficiency and capacity
      • Prior work has shown that poor efficiency and capacity contribute to worse mobility
      • Future research should identify the underlying mechanisms to these energy deficits

      Abstract

      Objectives

      To investigate the impact that the presence of chronic low back pain with radiculopathy (CLBPR) may have on (1) energy efficiency and (2) energy capacity among community-dwelling older adults.

      Design

      Matched case-control study.

      Setting

      Clinical research laboratory.

      Participants

      Included in the analysis were community-dwelling older adults (N=38, 60-85 years) with and without CLBPR. Participants were matched between-groups on age (±5 years), sex, and diabetic status.

      Interventions

      Not applicable.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Energy cost of walking at self-selected speed (ie, energy efficiency) and peak volume of oxygen consumed (ie, energy capacity).

      Results

      Older adults with CLBPR had a higher energy cost of walking at self-selected speed (P=.009) and lower peak volume of oxygen consumed while walking (P=.050), compared to those without pain.

      Conclusions

      Older adults with CLBPR may benefit from specific rehabilitative interventions that target these potentially modifiable energetic outcomes, thereby reducing the risk of mobility decline. Future studies should identify which mechanisms specifically contribute to diminished energy efficiency and capacity among older adults with CLBPR.

      Keywords

      List of abbreviations:

      BMI (body mass index), CLBPR (chronic low back pain with radiculopathy), Vo2 (volume of oxygen consumed), Vo2peak (peak volume of oxygen consumed)
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