A normative database of lumbar spine ranges of motion

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The overall aim of the work was to develop a comprehensive normative database of indices for ranges of motion in the lumbar spine, in an asymptomatic sample of the general population. This was a repeated measures prospective study utilizing a reliable and valid instrument, the modified CA6000 Spine Motion Analyzer (Orthopedic Systems Inc. Union City CA & Troke/University of Brighton). The portable equipment was used to collect data in a variety of community settings (e.g. schools, GP surgeries, offices, leisure centres, emergency services stations). A total of 405 asymptomatic subjects (196 female, 209 male) aged 16–90 yr from sedentary, mixed and physically demanding occupations participated in the study and data were collected in standing, at different times of the day, following a standardized methodology for lumbar spine motion in the sagittal, coronal and horizontal planes. Age-related centile graphs were derived separately for male and female subjects in flexion, extension, left and right lateral flexion and left and right axial rotation. All 12 graphs are presented as an appendix located on the Manual Therapy website (www.elsevierscience.com/journals/math). Overall, flexion (73–40°) and lateral flexion (28–14°, L&R) declined 45% and 48%, respectively, across the age range. Extension (29–6°) declined the greatest at 79%. By contrast, no overall decline in axial rotational RoMs was recorded, and the median RoM remained at 7° each way across the age spectrum examined. A comprehensive database of indices of lumbar spine ranges of motion has thus been developed which is gender specific, age related, drawn from a wide age range and presents data for all three planes of motion. It is considered that the new database has a number of potential clinical and research applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-206
Number of pages9
JournalManual Therapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2005


  • Normative
  • Database
  • Lumbar
  • Spine


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