S. Baker, S. Lopez, B. Adams, J. McNeal

Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

Pain and dysfunction of the lumbar spine has been shown to be related to excessive lumbar lordosis, especially during upright positions like standing. In particular, anterior pelvic tilt has been associated with increased lordosis and posterior pelvic tilt related to reduced lordosis. PURPOSE: To determine if an acute bout of static stretching of anterior hip muscles can produce a measurable change in sagittal pelvic and lumbar position during actively aligned standing. METHODS: Following completion of consent form and a brief survey to quantify participant habitual stretching habits, participants performed a moderate warm-up on a stationary bike. Reflective markers were placed on the skin/clothing on the right side of the participant by palpation of the posterior and anterior superior iliac spines (PSIS & ASIS respectively), greater trochanter of the femur, and three along the spinous processes; T7, T12, L4 vertebrae. Pelvic and lumbar position were assessed while the participant stood in an actively-aligned body position with their arms overhead being asked to ‘stand as straight and tall as possible’. Experimental intervention involved participants stretching in a half- kneeling lunge position, commonly used to stretch the anterior hip musculature, performed for 30 sec each leg for three repetitions bilaterally. A single photograph of the standing position, pre and post-acute stretch, recorded pelvic and lumbar position to determine if a change in position occurred. From the photographs, 2D coordinate locations of the reflective markers were determined using the software IC Measure. RESULTS: Following stretching, participants significantly decreased lumbar lordosis (t = 3.72, p < 0.05) between pre and post stretch angles of the Perry lumbar (LUMP) landmarks (L4, ASIS, and greater trochanter). The Crowel pelvic tilt landmarks (PSIS, ASIS, & horizontal line through ASIS) and McNeal lumbar lordosis landmarks (T7, T12, L4, & PSIS) were not significantly changed. CONCLUSION: Participants were able to significantly decrease the LUMP angle, reducing lumbar lordosis from an acute bought of stretching. The information from this study suggests that individuals with excessive or undesirable lordosis while standing could benefit acutely from a bout of static stretching of the anterior hip musculature.

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