Episode 16a: Posture and Pain: Low back pain fact 6 with Diane Slater and Dr Kieran O’Sullivan PhD


Low back pain is still the world’s most disabling health condition and costs more than cancer and diabetes combined. A scientific journal article covering 10 facts about low back pain was recently published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2019-101611). The origins and motivations for that paper, as well as patient stories, were covered in episodes 4 and 5 of the podcast. In this episode, Professor Peter O’Sullivan and Kevin Wernli welcome Diane Slater and Dr Kieran O’Sullivan. Together, they discuss low back pain fact number 5: Posture does not cause back pain.

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Episode Show Notes:

O’Sullivan PBCaneiro JO’Sullivan K, et al
Back to basics: 10 facts every person should know about back pain
low back pain infographic


The posture and pain infographic discussed in the podcast:
Posture infographic
From this paper: 
Slater D, Korakakis V, O’Sullivan P, Nolan D, O’Sullivan K. “Sit Up Straight”: Time to Re-evaluate. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2019 Aug;49(8):562-564. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2019.0610. PMID: 31366294.
Other Supporting references:
O’Sullivan, Peter B., PhD*; Dankaerts, Wim, PhD*†; Burnett, Angus F., PhD*; Farrell, Garreth T., M Manip Ther*; Jefford, Evonne, M Manip Ther*; Naylor, Clare S., M Manip Ther*; O’Sullivan, Kieran J., M Manip Ther* Effect of Different Upright Sitting Postures on Spinal-Pelvic Curvature and Trunk Muscle Activation in a Pain-Free Population, Spine: September 1, 2006 – Volume 31 – Issue 19 – p E707-E712 doi: 10.1097/01.brs.0000234735.98075.50

Peter B O’Sullivan, J P Caneiro, Mary O’Keeffe, Anne Smith, Wim Dankaerts, Kjartan Fersum, Kieran O’Sullivan, Cognitive Functional Therapy: An Integrated Behavioral Approach for the Targeted Management of Disabling Low Back Pain, Physical Therapy, Volume 98, Issue 5, May 2018, Pages 408–423, https://doi.org/10.1093/ptj/pzy022

Richards KV, Beales DJ, Smith AJ, O’Sullivan PB, Straker LM. Neck Posture clusters and their association with biopsychosocial factors and neck pain in australian adolescents. Physical Therapy. 2016;96(10):1576-87. doi: 10.2522/ptj.20150660.

Dankaerts W, O’Sullivan P, Burnett A, Straker L. Differences in sitting postures are associated with nonspecific chronic low back pain disorders when patients are subclassified. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2006 Mar 15;31(6):698-704. doi: 10.1097/01.brs.0000202532.76925.d2. PMID: 16540876.

Dankaerts W, O’Sullivan P, Burnett A, Straker L, Davey P, Gupta R. Discriminating healthy controls and two clinical subgroups of nonspecific chronic low back pain patients using trunk muscle activation and lumbosacral kinematics of postures and movements: a statistical classification model. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2009 Jul 1;34(15):1610-8. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e3181aa6175. PMID: 19564772.

Wernli, KO’Sullivan, PSmith, ACampbell, AKent, PMovement, posture and low back pain. How do they relate? A replicated single‐case design in 12 people with persistent, disabling low back painEur J Pain2020241831– 1849https://doi.org/10.1002/ejp.1631