Spine Buddy® Supportive Pad Impact on Single-Leg Static Balance and a Jogging Gait of Individuals Wearing a Military Backpack

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The Spine Buddy® supportive pad was developed to be inserted underneath military backpacks to help disperse the heavy load of the backpack. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact the additional supportive pad had on static balance and a running gait while wearing a military backpack. Forty healthy subjects (age= 27.5 + 5.6 yrs, body height= 1.78 + 0.06 m, body mass= 86.5 + 14.0 kg: mean + SD) participated in a static single-leg balance test on a force plate with each lower limb while wearing a 15.9 kg military backpack for 30 s. Following this, participants were randomized to one of two interventions: 1) Intervention, which wore the Spine Buddy® supportive pad underneath their backpack or 2) Control, with no additional supportive pad. Post-intervention measurements of static single-leg balance were then recorded. Afterwards, a similar pre vs post testing schedule and randomization scheme was used to test the impact of the supportive pad on a 5 mph jogging gait using Vicon® cameras. Within-group data were analyzed with a 2-way repeated measures ANOVA. Statistically significant differences were not seen between the control and experimental group for balance and gait variables. Preliminarily, this suggests that the Spine Buddy® supportive pad causes no deleterious effect on static balance and a jogging gait in 18-45 year-old asymptomatic individuals.

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