Effect of load carriage on chronic low back pain in adults with cerebral palsy

Emma Siu-Yin LAI, Dominique Ka-Man CHOW, Victor Ngai-Fung TSANG, Suki Sin-I TSUI, Chor-Yin LAM, Ivan Yuen Wang SU, Hung Kay Daniel CHOW

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Chronic low back pain (LBP) is a common secondary musculoskeletal problem among adults with cerebral palsy (CP). This study investigated the feasibility of incorporating backpack carriage with daily production activities for relieving chronic LBP among adults with CP. Objectives: The effects of backpack carriage in relieving chronic LBP for adults with CP. Study Design: A multiple bivariate approach with convenience sampling. Methods: Nine adults with CP suffering from chronic LBP were scheduled to carry a 4 lb backpack at work for 60 minutes on weekdays for four consecutive weeks. The pain level was rated by the participants on an 11-point scale. Muscle activity of erector spinae was measured by surface electromyography. Results: Significant improvement in back pain was found immediately after the backpack carriage with no adverse effect reported. It was accompanied with significantly reduced erector spinae activity. Although the overall change in pain ratings across the study period was not significant, a decreasing trend with time was observed. Conclusions: The loaded backpack has the potential to serve as an 'orthosis' for immediate back pain relief among adults with CP. Its underlying mechanism can be attributed to a reduction in back muscle tension during the load carriage. Copyright © 2011 The International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-444
JournalProsthetics and Orthotics International
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


Lai, E. S.-Y., Chow, D. K.-M., Tsang, V. N.-F., Tsui, S. S.-I., Lam, C.-Y., Su, I. Y. W., & Chow, D. H. K. (2011). Effect of load carriage on chronic low back pain in adults with cerebral palsy. Prosthetics and Orthotics International, 35(4), 439-444. doi: 10.1177/0309364611426345


  • Load carriage
  • Electromyography
  • Low back pain
  • Cerebral palsy


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