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Eur Spine J. 2019 Dec 18. doi: 10.1007/s00586-019-06254-0. [Epub ahead of print]

Influence of body position and axial load on spinal stiffness in healthy young adults.

Author information

1
Integrative Spinal Research ISR, Department of Chiropractic Medicine, Balgrist University Hospital, Balgrist Campus, Lengghalde 5, 8008, Zurich, Switzerland.
2
Integrative Spinal Research ISR, Department of Chiropractic Medicine, Balgrist University Hospital, Balgrist Campus, Lengghalde 5, 8008, Zurich, Switzerland. jaap.swanenburg@balgrist.ch.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This study aimed at investigating the effects of different body positions and axial loads on spinal stiffness to better understand spinal stabilisation mechanisms.

METHODS:

The posterior-to-anterior lumbar and thoracic spinal stiffness of 100 young healthy adults (mean age 23 years; 50 females) were measured in three test situations: prone, standing and standing while carrying a load equal to 50% of the subject's body weight. Each test situation comprised three trials.

RESULTS:

Spinal stiffness in all test situations showed good reliability. Repeated measures analysis of covariance showed significantly higher spinal stiffness in standing than in the prone position [F(1/1694) = 433.630, p < 0.001]. However, spinal stiffness was significantly lower when standing while carrying a load of 50% of the body weight than when standing without additional load [F(1/1494) = 754.358, p < 0.001].

CONCLUSION:

This study showed that spinal lumbar and thoracic stiffness increases when body position is changed from prone to standing. Additional axial load of 50% of the subject's body weight results in reduced spinal stiffness during standing. These slides can be retrieved under Electronic Supplementary Material.

KEYWORDS:

Load; Lumbar; Spine; Stiffness; Thoracic

PMID:
31848714
DOI:
10.1007/s00586-019-06254-0

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