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Title: Intrinsic lumbar spine shape : its role in lifting and low back pain
Author: Pavlova, Anastasia Vladimirovna
ISNI:       0000 0004 9353 6305
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2014
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Low back pain (LBP) is estimated to affect up to 85% of people worldwide at some point during their lives and is highly prevalent in manual occupations. It is suggested to have a mechanical origin and lifting is a recognised risk factor. The lumbar spine was shown to have an intrinsic shape, specific to each individual, which is partially maintained between postures and affects response to static load. The role of intrinsic shape in dynamic load bearing and lifting has received little attention. This thesis describes a study investigating intrinsic lumbar spine shape in 30 healthy adults to determine its effects on lifting and potential role in LBP. Positional magnetic resonance imaging was used to take images of the lumbar spine in standing, flexion and extension postures and intrinsic lumbar spine shape quantified by a statistical shape model (active shape modelling). Biomechanical patterns and lumbar spine movement were analysed when lifting a weighted box from the ground without instruction and when stooping and squatting, using motion capture and a method developed to predict vertebral centroid position from external markers. Comparisons were made between sub-groups of intrinsic spine shape. Individuals with very lordotic lumbar curvatures tended to stoop when given a choice, resulting in greater lumbar and pelvic forces, and struggled to squat when instructed to. Those with a flat lumbar curve had a stiffer lumbar segment, compared to the more flexible lordotic spine, and preferred to squat. This resulted in more forces at the hips and knees. Individuals have an intrinsic lumbar spine shape that remains characteristic throughout flexion and extension, influences choice of movement when lifting a weight and hinders performance of some motions. These results indicate a role for spine shape in injury and LBP, with implications for current manual handling principles and guidance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Roemex Ltd ; Nuffield Foundation's Oliver Bird Rheumatism Programme
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Spine ; Backache