Erica Beaucage-Gauvreau, Scott C. E. Brandon, William S. P. Robertson, Robert Fraser, Brian J. C. Freeman, Ryan B. Graham, Dominic Thewlis, Claire F. Jones

April 2021, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 1035 - 1042 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-020-06631-0

First Online: 06 November 2020


To evaluate the effect of the braced arm-to-thigh technique (BATT) (versus self-selected techniques) on three-dimensional trunk kinematics and spinal loads for three common activities of daily living (ADLs) simulated in the laboratory: weeding (gardening), reaching for an object in a low cupboard, and car egress using the two-legs out technique.


Ten young healthy males performed each task using a self-selected technique, and then using the BATT. The pulling action of weeding was simulated using a magnet placed on a steel plate. Cupboard and car egress tasks were simulated using custom apparatus representing the dimensions of a kitchen cabinet and a medium-sized Australian car, respectively. Three-dimensional trunk kinematics and L4/L5 spinal loads were estimated using the Lifting Full-Body OpenSim model and compared between techniques. Paired t-tests were used to compare peak values between methods (self-selected vs BATT).


The BATT significantly reduced peak extension moments (13–51%), and both compression (27–45%) and shear forces (31–62%) at L4/L5, compared to self-selected techniques for all three tasks (p 


The BATT substantially reduced L4/L5 extension moments, and L4/L5 compression and shear forces, compared to self-selected methods, for three ADLs, in a small cohort of ten young healthy males without prior history of back pain. These study findings can be used to inform safe procedures for these three ADLs, as the results are considered representative of a mature population.

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