Three different lifting strategies for controlling the motion patterns of the external load
Co-ordination of various components of the human body during the course of lifting are very complex and difficult to control. This study hypothesized that strategies used to control the motion patterns of the external load may be applied to control co-ordination and also to control the level of compressive force on the lumbosacral joint. A simulation of lifting based on the optimization approach was introduced to generate three classes of unique dynamic motion patterns of the external load directed by three different objective functions. The first objective function was to maximize the smoothness of the motion pattern of the external load. The second objective function was to minimize the sudden change of the centre of gravity of the body-load system. The third objective was to minimize the integration over time of the sum of the square of the ratio of the predicted joint moments to the corresponding joint strength during the course of lifting. Eight subjects were recruited to perform 40 lifts using each of the three optimal motion patterns of the load. Compressive forces on the lumbosacral joint were computed and compared. The data showed with statistical significance that subjects using the motion patterns of the external load suggested by the first objective function had the lowest compressive force peaks. Thus, this study satisfied two goals: (1) it indexed and synthesized three motion patterns of the external load by three biomechanically unique objective functions, and (2) it established the association between the spinal loading and the control of the motion patterns of the external load during lifting.
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