Trunk flexion results in adverse mechanical effects on the spine and is associated with a higher incidence of low back pain. To examine the effects of creep deformation on trunk behaviours, participants were exposed to full trunk flexion in several combinations of exposure duration
and external load. Trunk mechanical and neuromuscular behaviours were obtained pre- and post-exposure and during recovery using sudden perturbations. Intrinsic trunk stiffness decreased with increasing flexion duration and in the presence of the external load. Recovery of intrinsic stiffness
required more time than the exposure duration and was influenced by exposure duration. Reflexive trunk responses increased immediately following exposure but recovered quickly (∼2.5 min). Alterations in reflexive trunk behaviour following creep deformation exposures may not provide adequate
compensation to allow for complete recovery of concurrent reductions in intrinsic stiffness, which may increase the risk of injury due to spinal instability.
Statement of relevance: An increased risk of low back injury may result from flexion-induced disturbances to trunk behaviours.
Such effects, however, appear to depend on the type of flexion exposure, and have implications for the design of work involving trunk flexion.
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low back pain;
Document Type: Research Article
Center for Biomedical Engineering,University of Kentucky, LexingtonKY40506, USA
Virginia Tech – Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences,Virginia Tech, BlacksburgVA24061, USA
Industrial and Systems Engineering,Virginia Tech, BlacksburgVA24061, USA
November 1, 2011
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