The effects of lumbosacral support belts and abdominal muscle strength on functional lifting ability in healthy women

Academic Article


  • Study Design. This study focused on lumbosacral support belts, abdominal muscle strength, and lifting ability in healthy women. Subjects underwent manual muscle testing to determine muscle strength and performed lifting procedures to determine lifting capacity. Objectives. The purpose of this study is threefold: 1) to determine the effectiveness of lumbosacral support belts in improving lifting ability in healthy women, 2) to determine if lumbosacral support belts are more effective for those with weak abdominals than those with strong abdominals, and 3) to determine if the maximum amount of weight varies with abdominal muscle strength. Summary of Background Data. In a review of published literature, one study has addressed the relationship of lumbosacral support belts and lifting capacity. However, no study has examined the use of lumbosacral support belts and lifting capacity in a female population. Methods. A convenient sample of 69 healthy women, aged 20 to 40 years, participated in this study. Subjects were categorized into one of three groups based on lower and upper abdominal muscle strength. Each subject then performed two lifting procedures, one with a lumbosacral support belt and one without, to determine two maximum lifts. Results. Women between the ages of 20 and 40 years could lift approximately 1.0 kg more weight from the floor to waist height with the lumbosacral support belt. The maximum weight lifted varied with abdominal strength. Lumbosacral support belts were not more effective for those with weak abdominals than those with strong abdominals. Conclusions. When applied properly and used in conjunction with proper lifting technique, lumbosacral support belts slightly improved lifting ability in healthy women. The magnitude of the increase, although statistically significant, is not sufficient to advocate the use of lumbrosacral support belts to increase lifting capacity.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Spine  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Smith EB; Rasmussen AA; Lechner DE; Gossman MR; Quintana JB; Grubbs BL
  • Start Page

  • 356
  • End Page

  • 366
  • Volume

  • 21
  • Issue

  • 3