Trunk movement compensation characterized as ipsilateral trunk lean and posterior rotation with respect to pelvis during stance phase of walking is common in people with hip osteoarthritis and a biomarker of deficits in physical function in older adults. However, the relationship between trunk movement compensation on deficits in physical performance, muscle strength and functional capacity is unknown.
A cross-sectional study design was used. Two inertial measurement units were used to assess trunk movement compensation during the six-minute-walk-test. Knee extension, knee flexion and hip abduction strength were measured using hand-held dynamometer. Multivariate regression models, controlling for self-reported hip pain, were used to regress trunk movement compensation onto six-minute-walk-test and muscle strength measures. Pairwise t-tests were used to evaluate the difference trunk movement compensation has on functional capacity by comparing the first and last minute of the six-minute-walk-test.
Thirty-five participants (63.3 ± 7.4 years, 57% male, 28.6 ± 4.5 kg/m) were enrolled. Greater trunk movement compensation was related to poorer six-minute-walk-test (p = 0.03; r = -0.46). Greater hip abduction weakness was related to increased trunk movement compensation in both the sagittal (p = 0.05; r = -0.44) and frontal (p = 0.04; r = -0.38) planes. Participants demonstrated greater frontal plane trunk movement compensation during the last minute compared to the first minute of the six-minute-walk-test (p < 0.01).
Trunk movement compensation, identified by inertial measure units, is a clinically relevant measure and has a moderate-to-strong relationship on deficits in physical performance, muscle strength and functional capacity. Inertial measurement units can be used as a practical means of measuring movement quality in the clinical setting.

Published by Elsevier Ltd.