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Fatigue influences the dynamic stability of the torso.
Ergonomics 2008 Aug; 51(8):1258-1271
Fatigue in the extensor muscles of the torso affects neuromuscular recruitment and control of the spine. The goal of this study was to test whether fatigue influences stability of dynamic torso movements. A controlled laboratory experiment measured the change in the maximum finite-time Lyapunov exponent, lambda(max), before and after fatigue of the extensor muscles. Non-linear analyses were used to compute stability from the embedding dimension and Lyapunov exponent recorded during repetitive dynamic trunk flexion tasks. Torso extensor muscles were fatigued to 60% of their unfatigued isometric maximum voluntary exertion force then stability was re-measured. Independent variables included fatigue, task asymmetry and lower-limb constraint. lambda(max) values increased with fatigue suggesting poorer dynamic stability when fatigued. Embedding dimension declined with fatigue indicating reduced dynamic complexity when fatigued. Fatigue-related changes in spinal stability may contribute to the risk of low-back injury during fatiguing occupational lifting tasks. The findings reported here indicate that one mechanism by which fatigue contributes to low back disorders may be spinal instability. This information may contribute to the development of ergonomic countermeasures to help prevent low back disorders.
Muscles; Muscle-contraction; Muscle-tension; Physiology; Spinal-cord; Spinal-cord-disorders; Musculoskeletal-system; Muscle-physiology; Mathematical-models; Statistical-analysis; Qualitative-analysis; Fatigue-properties; Fatigue; Back-injuries; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Ergonomics; Posture; Biodynamics; Biological-function; Biomechanical-modeling; Biomechanics; Physiological-factors; Physiological-fatigue; Physiological-stress; Physiological-testing
The Kevin P Granata Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Biomedical Engineering and Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061
Issue of Publication
Disease and Injury: Musculoskeletal Disorders of the Upper Extremities
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division