The effect of pain relief on daily physical activity: In-home objective physical activity assessment in chronic low back pain patients after paravertebral spinal block

Tzu Chuan Yen, Martha J Mohler, Michael Dohm, Kaveh Laksari, Bijan Najafi, Nima Toosizadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


This study evaluates the effect of paravertebral spinal injection (PSI), utilizing both subjective and objective assessments in chronic low back pain (LBP) associated with facet joint arthrosis over a one-month duration. Subjective questionnaires included the visual analogue scale (VAS) for pain, the Oswestry Disability Index, the Health Survey SF-12, and the short Falls Efficacy Scale International (FES-I). Objective assessments included in-clinic gait and Timed Up and Go (TUG) tests using wearable sensors, as well as 48 h daily physical activity (DPA) monitored using a chest-worn triaxial accelerometer. Subjective and objective measures were performed prior to treatment, immediately after the treatment, and one month after the treatment. Eight LBP patients were recruited for this study (mean age = 54 ± 13 years, body mass index = 31.41 ± 6.52 kg/m2, 50% males). Results show significant decrease in pain (~55%, p < 0.05) and disability (Oswestry scores, ~21%, p < 0.05). In-clinic gait and TUG were also significantly improved (~16% and ~18% faster walking and shorter TUG, p < 0.05); however, DPA, including the percentage of physical activities (walking and standing) and the number of steps, showed no significant change after PSI (p > 0.25; effect size ≤ 0.44). We hypothesize that DPA may continue to be truncated to an extent by conditioned fear-avoidance, a psychological state that may prevent increase in daily physical activity to avoid pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3048
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 12 2018



  • Back disorder
  • Daily activity
  • Fear of pain
  • Gait
  • Outcome evaluations
  • Pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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