The effect of axial load on the sagittal plane curvature of the upright human spine in vivo

Judith R. Meakin, Francis W. Smith, Fiona J. Gilbert, Richard M. Aspden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Determining the effect of load carriage on the human spine in vivo is important for determining spinal forces and establishing potential mechanisms of back injury. Previous studies have suggested that the natural curvature of the spine straightens under load, but are based on modelling and external measurements from the surface of the back. In the current study, an upright positional MRI scanner was used to acquire sagittal images of the lumbar and lower thoracic spine of 24 subjects. The subjects were imaged in standing whilst supporting 0, 8 and 16 kg of load which was applied axially across the shoulders using an apron. An active shape model of the vertebral bodies from T10 to S1 was created and used to characterise the effect of load. The results from the shape model showed that the behaviour of the average-shaped spine was to straighten slightly. However, the shape model also showed that the effect of load exhibited systematic variation between individuals. Those who had a smaller than average curvature before loading straightened under load, whereas those who had a greater than average curvature before loading showed an increase in curvature under load. The variation in behaviour of differently shaped spines may have further implications for the effects of load in lifting manoeuvres and in understanding the aetiology of back pain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2850-2854
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Volume41
Issue number13
Early online date19 Aug 2008
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sep 2008

Fingerprint

Axial loads
Spine
Magnetic resonance imaging
Back Injuries
Back Pain
Thorax

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Biomechanics
  • Body Mass Index
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Posture
  • Spine
  • Thoracic Vertebrae
  • Weight-Bearing
  • Young Adult

Cite this

The effect of axial load on the sagittal plane curvature of the upright human spine in vivo. / Meakin, Judith R.; Smith, Francis W.; Gilbert, Fiona J.; Aspden, Richard M.

In: Journal of Biomechanics, Vol. 41, No. 13, 18.09.2008, p. 2850-2854.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Meakin, Judith R. ; Smith, Francis W. ; Gilbert, Fiona J. ; Aspden, Richard M. / The effect of axial load on the sagittal plane curvature of the upright human spine in vivo. In: Journal of Biomechanics. 2008 ; Vol. 41, No. 13. pp. 2850-2854.
@article{a3d3e6da02cd4125a98ecb8750198750,
title = "The effect of axial load on the sagittal plane curvature of the upright human spine in vivo",
abstract = "Determining the effect of load carriage on the human spine in vivo is important for determining spinal forces and establishing potential mechanisms of back injury. Previous studies have suggested that the natural curvature of the spine straightens under load, but are based on modelling and external measurements from the surface of the back. In the current study, an upright positional MRI scanner was used to acquire sagittal images of the lumbar and lower thoracic spine of 24 subjects. The subjects were imaged in standing whilst supporting 0, 8 and 16 kg of load which was applied axially across the shoulders using an apron. An active shape model of the vertebral bodies from T10 to S1 was created and used to characterise the effect of load. The results from the shape model showed that the behaviour of the average-shaped spine was to straighten slightly. However, the shape model also showed that the effect of load exhibited systematic variation between individuals. Those who had a smaller than average curvature before loading straightened under load, whereas those who had a greater than average curvature before loading showed an increase in curvature under load. The variation in behaviour of differently shaped spines may have further implications for the effects of load in lifting manoeuvres and in understanding the aetiology of back pain.",
keywords = "Adult, Biomechanics, Body Mass Index, Female, Humans, Lumbar Vertebrae, Male, Middle Aged, Models, Biological, Posture, Spine, Thoracic Vertebrae, Weight-Bearing, Young Adult",
author = "Meakin, {Judith R.} and Smith, {Francis W.} and Gilbert, {Fiona J.} and Aspden, {Richard M.}",
year = "2008",
month = "9",
day = "18",
doi = "10.1016/j.jbiomech.2008.06.035",
language = "English",
volume = "41",
pages = "2850--2854",
journal = "Journal of Biomechanics",
issn = "0021-9290",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",
number = "13",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The effect of axial load on the sagittal plane curvature of the upright human spine in vivo

AU - Meakin, Judith R.

AU - Smith, Francis W.

AU - Gilbert, Fiona J.

AU - Aspden, Richard M.

PY - 2008/9/18

Y1 - 2008/9/18

N2 - Determining the effect of load carriage on the human spine in vivo is important for determining spinal forces and establishing potential mechanisms of back injury. Previous studies have suggested that the natural curvature of the spine straightens under load, but are based on modelling and external measurements from the surface of the back. In the current study, an upright positional MRI scanner was used to acquire sagittal images of the lumbar and lower thoracic spine of 24 subjects. The subjects were imaged in standing whilst supporting 0, 8 and 16 kg of load which was applied axially across the shoulders using an apron. An active shape model of the vertebral bodies from T10 to S1 was created and used to characterise the effect of load. The results from the shape model showed that the behaviour of the average-shaped spine was to straighten slightly. However, the shape model also showed that the effect of load exhibited systematic variation between individuals. Those who had a smaller than average curvature before loading straightened under load, whereas those who had a greater than average curvature before loading showed an increase in curvature under load. The variation in behaviour of differently shaped spines may have further implications for the effects of load in lifting manoeuvres and in understanding the aetiology of back pain.

AB - Determining the effect of load carriage on the human spine in vivo is important for determining spinal forces and establishing potential mechanisms of back injury. Previous studies have suggested that the natural curvature of the spine straightens under load, but are based on modelling and external measurements from the surface of the back. In the current study, an upright positional MRI scanner was used to acquire sagittal images of the lumbar and lower thoracic spine of 24 subjects. The subjects were imaged in standing whilst supporting 0, 8 and 16 kg of load which was applied axially across the shoulders using an apron. An active shape model of the vertebral bodies from T10 to S1 was created and used to characterise the effect of load. The results from the shape model showed that the behaviour of the average-shaped spine was to straighten slightly. However, the shape model also showed that the effect of load exhibited systematic variation between individuals. Those who had a smaller than average curvature before loading straightened under load, whereas those who had a greater than average curvature before loading showed an increase in curvature under load. The variation in behaviour of differently shaped spines may have further implications for the effects of load in lifting manoeuvres and in understanding the aetiology of back pain.

KW - Adult

KW - Biomechanics

KW - Body Mass Index

KW - Female

KW - Humans

KW - Lumbar Vertebrae

KW - Male

KW - Middle Aged

KW - Models, Biological

KW - Posture

KW - Spine

KW - Thoracic Vertebrae

KW - Weight-Bearing

KW - Young Adult

U2 - 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2008.06.035

DO - 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2008.06.035

M3 - Article

VL - 41

SP - 2850

EP - 2854

JO - Journal of Biomechanics

JF - Journal of Biomechanics

SN - 0021-9290

IS - 13

ER -