Spine Biomechanics

Chronic low back pain is a significant public health problem in industrialized society. The intact spine carries the upper body and external loads, allows motion in a physiological range and protects the spinal cord. These different demands necessitate a high degree of complexity with various sources for disorders and pain. The Julius Wolff Institute conducts research in order to counter pain causes and to further optimize the pain treatment.

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Spinal Load Analyses

We now know that back pain is partly due to an overloading of the spine, particularly due to specific activities in competitive sports or even when lifting heavy loads at work. However, a complete direct measurement of spinal loading is not possible until now. Indirect measurements give information such as the change in height after the change of body position, the intra-abdominal pressure, the intradiscal pressure, electromyographic signals from muscles and the loading of implants to stabilize the spine. Because measuring methods have proven to be extremely difficult, we also use mathematical models. After appropriate validity check this can provide information on forces acting in different spinal regions and adjacent muscles.