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Can postural modification reduce kinetic and kinematic loading during the bowing postures of Islamic prayer?

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As stooped postures are known to increase kinematic and kinetic loading on the lumbar spine they can be problematic for people with low back pain and postural task modification is often recommended. For the Muslim with low back pain, the bowing postures during prayer can aggravate low back symptoms. The aims of this study were to describe lumbo-sacral and pelvic tilt kinematics and lumbo-sacral kinetics during the standard bowing postures of Islam and to compare these to kinematic and kinetic data gathered during a clinically recommended modified bowing posture. The study was a repeated measures within subject cross-over design with 33 healthy male Muslim participants. 3-D motion analysis data were gathered to calculate body joint angles during the two bowing postures. A 3-D biomechanical model was then used to calculate spinal loads. Paired t-test analyses showed that the use of the modified posture resulted in significantly less pelvic tilt range of motion and anterior shear force and compressive force L5/S1, at stages 1 and 5 of bowing. Although this study was conducted with healthy young Muslim males, the use of this modified bent knee posture is recommended for all Muslims with low back pain. Clinical trials are being considered to determine the clinical utility of this postural manoeuvre as an intervention. Statement of Relevance:The presence of low back pain may hinder a Muslim's ability to use the traditional Islamic bowing posture. Muslims who have low back pain may benefit from adopting a modification to the traditional bowing posture,which has been found to reduce the loads and postural demands on the lower back.
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Keywords: bowing posture; kinematics; kinetics; low back pain; Muslims; range of movement

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Physiotherapy Centre for Research, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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