Liu Y, Palmer JL. Iliacus Tender Points in Young Adults: A Pilot Study. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2012;112(5):285–289. doi: https://doi.org/10.7556/jaoa.2012.112.5.285.
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Context: Recent studies have assessed iliacus tender point prevalence in outpatient clinics. However, studies on the prevalence of iliacus tender points in the young adult population and the correlation of its prevalence with daily activities are lacking.
Objectives: (1) To determine the prevalence of low back pain, iliacus tender points, and positive results of Thomas tests (ie, hypertonic iliopsoas muscles) in young adult participants. (2) To evaluate daily activities including prolonged sitting, exercise, and running or biking as predictive factors for low back pain, iliacus tender points, and positive Thomas test results. (3) To examine the relationship between iliacus tender points and positive Thomas test results.
Methods: Healthy students aged 18 to 30 years at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine–Virginia Campus were recruited using e-mail, class announcements, and flyers. Data were collected for age, sex, amount of time spent sitting in a 24-hour period, type and frequency of exercise performed, and low back pain in the past 7 days. Patients underwent an iliacus tender point assessment and a Thomas test; results of each were recorded for the right and left sides.
Results: Twenty-five women and 24 men aged 22 to 30 years (mean, 24.39 years) were analyzed. Twenty-four participants (49%) had low back pain, 46 (94%) had an iliacus tender point, and 25 (51%) had a positive Thomas test result. There was no statistically significant difference between men and women with regard to low back pain, tender point presence, or a positive Thomas test result (P=.26, .99, and .78, respectively). Participants who reported sitting for 8 or more hours in a 24-hour period or who reported running or biking more than 3 times per week were more likely to have an iliacus tender point (P=.001 and .028, respectively).
Conclusion: The prevalence of iliacus tender points was high in the study population. Prolonged sitting and running or biking was associated with an increased risk of developing low back pain or an iliacus tender point.
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