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Low back pain in microgravity and bed rest studies

Pool-Goudzwaard, Annelies L., Belavý, Daniel L., Hides, Julie A., Richardson, Carolyn A. and Snijders, Chris J. 2015, Low back pain in microgravity and bed rest studies, Aerospace medicine human performance, vol. 86, no. 6, pp. 541-547, doi: 10.3357/AMHP.4169.2015.

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Title Low back pain in microgravity and bed rest studies
Author(s) Pool-Goudzwaard, Annelies L.
Belavý, Daniel L.ORCID iD for Belavý, Daniel L. orcid.org/0000-0002-9307-832X
Hides, Julie A.
Richardson, Carolyn A.
Snijders, Chris J.
Journal name Aerospace medicine human performance
Volume number 86
Issue number 6
Start page 541
End page 547
Total pages 7
Publisher Aerospace Medical Association
Place of publication Alexandria, Va.
Publication date 2015-06
ISSN 2375-6314
Keyword(s) Adult
Astronauts
Bed Rest
Female
Humans
Incidence
Low Back Pain
Male
Middle Aged
Prospective Studies
Risk Factors
Space Flight
Weightlessness
Young Adult
Summary BACKGROUND: The prevalence of low back pain (LBP) for astronauts in space (68%) is higher than the 1-mo prevalence for the general population on Earth (39%). It is unclear whether differences occur between healthy subjects and astronauts with a history of LBP. Knowledge of this issue is important to assess whether a history of LBP could have an operational impact. METHODS: We evaluated LBP prospectively during short duration spaceflight (15 d; N=20) and compared this with similar data collected during two bed rest studies (N=40). Astronauts completed a questionnaire 5-10 d preflight, during each flight day, and 5-10 d postflight. RESULTS: All astronauts with a history of LBP also developed LBP in flight. These astronauts reported a significantly longer duration of LBP and a different pain location. LBP was most often experienced in the central area of the lower back during spaceflight with an incidence of 70% and a mean pain level of 3 (on a scale of 0-10). Pain resolved within 10 d of flight. No neurological signs were present. The most frequently reported countermeasure was assuming a "knees to chest (fetal tuck) position" combined with stretching. Greater LBP intensity was reported in spaceflight than bed rest with a trend indicating a greater number of days of pain during spaceflight. DISCUSSION: The current study represents a prospective study of LBP in spaceflight. The results indicate that LBP is self-limiting in spaceflight and should not pose an operational risk. Prior LBP on Earth appears to be a risk factor for LBP in spaceflight.
Language eng
DOI 10.3357/AMHP.4169.2015
Field of Research 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2015, Aerospace Medical Association
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30076598

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.