Does Postural Imbalance Affect Knee Osteoarthritis

Does Postural Imbalance Affect Knee Osteoarthritis?

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The Study: Influence of spinal postural imbalance on knee osteoarthritis in community-living elderly adults.

The Facts

a. Although other studies have looked at risk factors related to knee osteoarthritis this is the first article to look at the factors in the spine as a risk factor for osteoarthritis of the knee.

b. The study was done on subjects in an elderly living community.

c. The authors looked at the influence of what they termed as total spinal alignment and also spinal range of motion on osteoarthritis of the knee.

d. There were 170 subjects with an average age of 69.4 years of age.

e. Among the things that they measured was the spinal inclination angle. This was defined as “the angle between a plumb line and a straight line from the first thoracic vertebra to the first sacral vertebra.” In other words, it was a way to measure how much the patient was bent forward.

f. From the conclusion: “The spinal inclination angle is the most important factor associated with knee OA, although spinal ROM is also associated with knee OA. Decreased lumbar lordosis and lumbar ROM is related to increased spinal inclination angle.”

Take Home:

Alterations in the spine and knee osteoarthritis may have a relationship.

Reviewer’s Comments:

Do you see a theme here? Here is another article that says that the mechanics of the spine are important. The medical profession seems to be interested in skeletal alignment. In this case, the study is from members of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya, Japan, and the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Yoshida Orthopaedic Hospital, Toyota, Japan. I am a simple person, but it appears to me that if you keep altering the structure of a skyscraper you will eventually have a problem. What do you think?

Reviewer: Roger Coleman, DC

Editor’s Comments:

I have known a few orthopedic surgeons over the years. As a group they are very sharp folks. The medical community is fast catching on that spinal posture is a causal factor of many non spinal problems. Maybe some of our colleges ought to start doing a bit of research as well, before our competition so dominates the literature base that they become THE undisputed authority. Or maybe we’re still stuck in that hundred year old paradigm that says “chiropractors don’t straighten spines, we correct subluxations.” C’mon guys. Let’s put some pressure on the colleges. We are losing the race here. Spinal misalignment IS subluxation. At the very least it is one extremely common, objectively demonstrable, and often correctable form of subluxation.

Editor: Mark R. Payne, DC

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Reference: Tauchi R, Imagama S, Muramoto A, Tuboi M, Ishiguro N, Hasegawa Y. Influence of spinal imbalance on knee osteoarthritis in community-living elderly adults. See comment in PubMed Commons below. Nagoya J Med Sci 2015;77:329-37.

Link to Abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26412878

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