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Biomed Res Int. 2018 Sep 30;2018:7962414. doi: 10.1155/2018/7962414. eCollection 2018.

Finite Element Investigation of the Effects of the Low-Frequency Vibration Generated by Vehicle Driving on the Human Lumbar Mechanical Properties.

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Department of Automotive Engineering, Jilin Institute of Chemical Technology, Jilin 132022, China.
No. 2 Hospital of Jilin University, Jilin University, Changchun 130025, China.
Department of Engineering Mechanics, Jilin University, Changchun 130025, China.


Long-term exposure to low-frequency vibration generated by vehicle driving impairs human lumbar spine health. However, few studies have investigated how low-frequency vibration affects human lumbar mechanical properties. This study established a poroelastic finite element model of human lumbar spinal segments L2-L3 to perform time-dependent vibrational simulation analysis and investigated the effects of different vibrational frequencies generated by normal vehicle driving on the lumbar mechanical properties in one hour. Analysis results showed that vibrational load caused more injury to lumbar health than static load, and vibration at the resonant frequency generated the most serious injury. The axial effective stress and the radial displacement in the intervertebral disc, as well as the fluid loss in the nucleus pulposus, increased, whereas the pore pressure in the nucleus pulposus decreased with increased vibrational frequency under the same vibrational time, which may aggravate the injury degree of human lumbar spine. Therefore, long-term driving on a well-paved road also induces negative effects on human lumbar spine health. When driving on a nonpaved road or operating engineering machinery under poor navigating condition, the auto seat transmits relatively high vibrational frequency, which is highly detrimental to the lumbar spine health of a driver.

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