The mechanical loading of the spine in physical activities

Robin Schäfer, Katharina Trompeter, Daniela Fett, Kai Heinrich, Johannes Funken, Steffen Willwacher, Gert-Peter Brüggemann, Petra Platen

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungBegutachtung


PURPOSE: To summarize the mechanical loading of the spine in different activities of daily living and sports.

METHODS: Since the direct measurement is not feasible in sports activities, a mathematical model was applied to quantify spinal loading of more than 600 physical tasks in more than 200 athletes from several sports disciplines. The outcome is compression and torque (normalized to body weight/mass) at L4/L5.

RESULTS: The data demonstrate high compressive forces on the lumbar spine in sport-related activities, which are much higher than forces reported in normal daily activities and work tasks. Especially ballistic jumping and landing skills yield high estimated compression at L4/L5 of more than ten times body weight. Jumping, landing, heavy lifting and weight training in sports demonstrate compression forces significantly higher than guideline recommendations for working tasks.

CONCLUSION: These results may help to identify acute and long-term risks of low back pain and, thus, may guide the development of preventive interventions for low back pain or injury in athletes.

ZeitschriftEuropean Spine Journal
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 11.05.2023


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