A new, comprehensive normative database of lumbar spine ranges of motion

M. Troke, A Moore, F.J. Maillardet, A. Hough, Liz Cheek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims and objectives: To generate gender-specific and broadly based age-related indices for normative lumbar ranges of motion for all planes of movement. Design: This was a repeated measures prospective study of spinal range of motion in a sample of volunteer subjects utilizing a portable modified CA6000 Spine Motion Analyzer (Orthopedic Systems Inc., Union City, CA, USA). Setting: Data collection was carried out in a variety of community locations including fire, police and ambulance stations, offices and community centres. Subjects: A total of 405 asymptomatic subjects (196 female, 209 male) were recruited, aged 16–90 years, from sedentary, mixed and physically demanding occupations. Methodology: Indices of lumbar spine ranges of motion were measured in standing following a standardized protocol for sagittal flexion/extension, coronal lateral flexion and horizontal axial rotation movements. Results: Male and female normative flexion ranges declined by approximately 40% (72–40 degrees) across the age spectrum. Extension declined the greatest, by approximately 76% (29–6 degrees) overall. In lateral flexion male and female ranges declined approximately 43% (29–15 degrees) in each direction (total 58–30 degrees). In axial rotation no age-related decline was observed and ranges of motion remained at approximately 7 degrees in each direction (total 14 degrees) across all the ages of the subject group. Conclusions: Data have been generated that provide comprehensive, gender-specific, broadly based and age-related indices for normative lumbar ranges of motion in all planes of movement. These are applicable to individuals throughout adult life, from adolescence through to old age.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-379
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Rehabilitation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2001


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