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Flexion-relaxation response to gravity.
Olson-M; Solomonow-M; Li-L
J Biomech 2006 Nov; 39(14):2545-2554
The objective of this report was to study the influence of the orientation of gravitational loading on the behavior of anterior and posterior trunk muscles during anterior trunk flexion-extension. Participants (N=13) performed five (5) cycles of trunk flexion-extension while standing with gravity parallel to the body axis and five (5) cycles while in the supine condition (e.g. sit-ups) with gravity perpendicular to the body axis. Surface electromyographic (EMG) patterns from lumbar paraspinal, rectus abdominis, external oblique, rectus femoris, semimembranosis, and biceps femoris muscles were analyzed during each condition. EMG signals were synchronized with lumbar flexion and trunk inclination angles. Flexion-extension from the standing position resulted in a myoelectric silent period of the lumbar posterior muscles (e.g. flexion-relaxation phenomena (FRP)) as well as the hamstring muscles through deep angles during which activity was observed in abdominal muscles. Flexion-extension during sit-ups, however, resulted in a myoelectric silent period of the abdominal muscles and the quadriceps through deep angles during which the lumbar posterior muscles were active. In this condition, the FRP was not observed in posterior muscles. The new findings demonstrate the profound impact of the orientation of the gravity vector on the FRP, the abdominal muscles reaction to gravitational loads during sit-ups and its relationships with lumbar antagonists and thigh musculature. The new findings suggest that gravitational moments requirements dominate the FRP through the prevailing kinematics, load sharing and reflex activation-inhibition of muscles in various conditions. Lumbar kinematics or fixed sensory motor programs by themselves, however, are not the major contributor to the FRP. The new findings improve our insights into spinal biomechanics as well as understanding and evaluating low back disorders.
Muscles; Muscular-disorders; Back-injuries; Musculoskeletal-system; Gravitational-forces; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Muscle-stress; Muscle-tension
Occupational Medicine Research Center, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA
Issue of Publication
Journal of Biomechanics
Louisiana State University, Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
Page last reviewed: March 11, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division