Estimation of lumbar spinal loading and trunk muscle forces during asymmetric lifting tasks

Application of whole-body musculoskeletal modelling in OpenSim
Large spinal compressive force combined with axial torsional shear force during asymmetric lifting tasks is highly associated with lower back injury (LBI). The aim of this study was to estimate lumbar spinal loading and muscle forces during symmetric lifting (SL) and asymmetric lifting (AL) tasks using a whole-body musculoskeletal modelling approach. Thirteen healthy males lifted loads of 7 and 12 kg under two lifting conditions (SL and AL). Kinematic data and ground reaction force data were collected and then processed by a whole-body musculoskeletal model. The results show AL produced a significantly higher peak lateral shear force as well as greater peak force of psoas major, quadratus lumborum, multifidus, iliocostalis lumborum pars lumborum, longissimus thoracis pars lumborum and external oblique than SL. The greater lateral shear forces combined with higher muscle force and asymmetrical muscle contractions may have the biomechanical mechanism responsible for the increased risk of LBI during AL.

Source: Kim, Hyun-Kyung, & Zhang, Yanxin. (2016). Ergonomics.

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