Assessment of motion and muscle activation impacts on low back pain during pregnancy using an inertial measurement unit

Saori Morino, Mamoru Yamashita, Fumiko Umezaki, Hiroko Hatanaka, Masaki Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Specific physiological changes during pregnancy exert excessive strain on muscles such as the erector spinae (ES) and contribute to low back pain (LBP). The link between LBP and sit-to-stand (STS) motion has previously been investigated through motion analysis using an inertial measurement unit (IMU); however, the factors leading to LBP have not been revealed. Moreover, clinicians require an effective assessment method for reducing the physical burden on pregnant women. Therefore, the investigation of the relationships between motion, muscle load calculated from musculoskeletal model for pregnancy, and the severity of LBP during STS in pregnant women was conducted. Furthermore, this study proposes a method for assessing motion and muscle load during STS using an IMU. The relationship among (i) motion evaluation indices and ES muscle torque, and (ii) the ES torque and the intensity of LBP during STS was investigated. As the results, significant positive correlations were observed between (i) the angular velocity of the torso in the sagittal plane and ES torque, and (ii) two types of evaluation indices of ES torque and intensity of LBP. The proposed method by an IMU attached to the torso could effectively assess ES load related to LBP during STS in pregnant women.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3690
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun 1


  • Low back pain
  • Motion analysis
  • Muscle load evaluation
  • Musculoskeletal model
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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