A Spine Loading Model of Women in the Military
Final rept. 25 Sep 1995-24 Sep 2000
OHIO STATE UNIV COLUMBUS
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The risk of low-back disorders LBD may be particularly great for women in the military, influencing training, costs and military readiness. The goal of this research is to quantify musculoskeletal loads on the spine of women performing manual materials handling tasks. This will permit assessment of risk factors for military women, and the potential to evaluate tasks and training methods for female military personnel. This goal of this research was accomplished by quantifying trunk geometry via MRI and incorporating muscle fiber orientation, investigating the muscle length-strength and force-velocity relationships during lifting trials, and developing and validating the female biomechanical model utilizing these findings as inputs. Females exhibited smaller muscle physiological cross-sectional areas, moment-arms, and different characteristics for the length-strength and force-velocity modulation factors. Thus, biomechanical torso models need gender specific inputs for predicting spinal loading. Evaluation of spinal loading for a simulated military manual materials handling task indicated that females and males experienced similar magnitudes of spinal loading e.g., compression force and shear forces for many of the same tasks. However, since females tend to exhibit lower intervertebral disc compression force tolerance than males, they may be at an elevated risk for low back injury when performing the same tasks.
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Stress Physiology