PainSci summary of Ettinger 1994?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★☆☆3-star ratings are for typical studies with no more (or less) than the usual common problems. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.
Posture is widely assumed to be a cause of pain, especially back pain, but even one of the most classic poor postures — kyphosis, excessive upper back curvature, “hunching over” — doesn’t seem to cause any trouble. In this study of 600 older women, not even the 10% with the worst kyphosis had “substantial chronic back pain, disability, or poor health.”
original abstract†Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
To test the hypothesis that thoracic kyphosis is associated with substantial pain, disability, and height loss, we measured thoracic curvature, using an architect's flexicurve, of 610 women aged 65-91 years who were recruited from population-based listings. We assessed study subjects for back pain, back-related disability, height loss since age 25 years, perceived state of health, and bone mineral density (BMD) at the spine, calcaneus, proximal radius, and distal radius. Compared with the rest of the cohort, the 10% of women with the most severe kyphosis had 7%-17% lower BMD (p < 0.001) and had lost an additional 2.4 cm height (p < 0.001). However, kyphotic women had no greater back pain, disability caused by back problems, or poorer health. This cross-sectional study suggests that kyphosis is associated with decreased BMD and loss of height but does not cause substantial chronic back pain, disability, or poor health in older women.
- “Is thoracic spine posture associated with shoulder pain, range of motion and function? A systematic review,” Eva Barrett, Mary O'Keeffe, Kieran O'Sullivan, Jeremy Lewis, and Karen McCreesh, Manual Therapy, 2016.
- “The association between cervical spine curvature and neck pain,” D Grob, H Frauenfelder, and A F Mannion, European Spine Journal, 2007.
One article on PainScience.com cites Ettinger 1994 as a source:
- PS Does Posture Correction Matter? — Posture correction strategies and exercises … and some reasons not to care or bother
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- A Bayesian model-averaged meta-analysis of the power pose effect with informed and default priors: the case of felt power. Gronau 2017 Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology.
- The neck and headaches. Bogduk 2014 Neurol Clin.
- Agreement of self-reported items and clinically assessed nerve root involvement (or sciatica) in a primary care setting. Konstantinou 2012 Eur Spine J.
- Effect of NSAIDs on Recovery From Acute Skeletal Muscle Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Morelli 2017 Am J Sports Med.
- Association of Spinal Manipulative Therapy With Clinical Benefit and Harm for Acute Low Back Pain: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Paige 2017 JAMA.