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Response of trunk muscle coactivation to changes in spinal stability.
Granata KP; Orishimo KF
J Biomech 2001 Sep; 34(9):1117-1123
The goal of this effort was to assess the neuromuscular response to changes in spinal stability. Biomechanical models suggest that antagonistic co-contraction may be related to stability constraints during lifting exertions. A two-dimensional biomechanical model of spinal equilibrium and stability was developed to predict trunk muscle co-contraction as a function of lifting height and external load. The model predicted antagonistic co-contraction must increase with potential energy of the system even when the external moment was maintained at a constant value. Predicted trends were compared with measured electromyographic (EMG) data recorded during static trunk extension exertions wherein subjects held weighted barbells at specific horizontal and vertical locations relative to the lumbo-sacral spine junction. The task was designed to assure the applied moment was identical during each height condition, thereby changing potential energy without influencing moment. Measured EMG activity in the trunk flexors increased with height of the external load as predicted by the model. Gender difference in spinal stability were also noted. Results empirically demonstrate that the neuromuscular system responds to changes in spinal stability and provide insight into the recruitment of trunk muscle activity.
Back injuries; Musculoskeletal system; Musculoskeletal system disorders; Posture; Spine; Spinal disorders; Spinal stability; Muscular disorders; Neuromuscular system; Neuromuscular system disorders; Manual lifting; Manual materials handling; Biomechanics; Author Keywords: Low-back; Spine; Stability; Muscle; Co-contraction; Model
Kevin P Granata, PhD, Motion Analysis and Motor Performance Laboratory, Kluge Children's Rehabilitation Center, University of Virginia, 2270 Ivy Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903
Issue of Publication
Disease and Injury: Low Back Disorders
Journal of Biomechanics
Motion Analysis and Motor Performance Laboratory, Kluge Children's Rehabilitation Center, University of Virginia, Charlottesville VA
Page last reviewed: July 23, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division