Biomechanical assessment of balance and posture in subjects with ankylosing spondylitis

Zimi Sawacha, Elena Carraro, Silvia Del Din, Annamaria Guiotto, Lara Bonaldo, Leonardo Punzi, Claudio Cobelli, Stefano Masiero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Ankylosing spondylitis is a major chronic rheumatic disease that predominantly affects axial joints, determining a rigid spine from the occiput to the sacrum. The dorsal hyperkyphosis may induce the patients to stand in a stooped position with consequent restriction in patients' daily living activities. The aim of this study was to develop a method for quantitatively and objectively assessing both balance and posture and their mutual relationship in ankylosing spondylitis subjects. Methods. The data of 12 healthy and 12 ankylosing spondylitis subjects (treated with anti-TNF-α stabilized), with a mean age of 51.42 and 49.42years; mean BMI of 23.08 and 25.44kg/m2 were collected. Subjects underwent a morphological examination of the spinal mobility by means of a pocket compass needle goniometer, together with an evaluation of both spinal and hip mobility (Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Metrology Index), and disease activity (Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index). Quantitative evaluation of kinematics and balance were performed through a six cameras stereophotogrammetric system and a force plate. Kinematic models together with a test for evaluating balance in different eye level conditions were developed. Head protrusion, trunk flexion-extension, pelvic tilt, hip-knee-ankle flexion-extension were evaluated during Romberg Test, together with centre of pressure parameters. Results: Each subject was able to accomplish the required task. Subjects' were comparable for demographic parameters. A significant increment was observed in ankylosing spondylitis subjects for knee joint angle with the target placed at each eye level on both sides (p

Original languageEnglish
Article number63
JournalJournal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Biomechanics
  • Postural balance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Health Informatics


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