2019 Volume 3 Issue 4 Pages 354-360
Introduction: Wearable accelerometers can be used to evaluate waking and sleeping movements. Although a correlation between accelerometer data captured at the wrist and waist has been reported, it has not been evaluated in patients with low back pain. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate correlations between movement measured at the wrist and waist, using wearable accelerometers, in patients with low back pain.
Methods: Twenty patients with chronic low back pain and 20 healthy volunteers were enrolled. Two identical accelerometers were simultaneously worn by each participant, one on the nondominant wrist and the other at the waist, for 1 week. We compared the mean number of active movements and mean total amount of movement between the wrist and the waist to evaluate daytime and sleep activities. During sleep, we also evaluated sleep efficiency and time awake after sleep onset.
Results: In daytime activity, the mean number of active movements and mean total amount of movement was greater for the wrist than for the waist, and the amount of waist movements relative to wrist movements was significantly lower in patients with low back pain than in healthy volunteers (p < 0.05). Despite these differences, the mean number of active movements and mean total amount of movement at the wrist and waist were strongly correlated in both groups. During sleep, although there was no difference in either measured sleep efficiency at the wrist or waist or time awake after sleep onset, measurements were strongly correlated in both groups.
Conclusions: A strong correlation between movement data at the wrist and waist during both daytime activities and sleep was identified in patients with low back pain. Therefore, a wearable accelerometer worn on the wrist can reliably measure the movement of patients with low back pain, simplifying data capture for clinical and research purposes and improving patient comfort.