Influence of vibration in horizontal plane on human lumbar spine

D. Skrzypiec, A. Klein, M.M. Morlock, K. Püschel, G. Huber

Vibrations in the lumbar spine are frequently present in the sitting posture in heavy machines. The main focus of preceding studies at our institute was on effect of dynamic loading in the axial direction of the spine. For many heavy machines however the dynamic loading can be dominating in horizontal direction (European Union project VIBRISKS).

It is believed that repetitive loading can contribute to disc degeneration, and spondylolisthesis. However there are only few dynamic in-vitro studies considering shear loading. One of them is based on animal specimens (van Dieen et al. 2006) and the other two are based on the human specimens at the end or outside working age group (Gallagher et al. 2005 and 2007).

Safety laws were established to protect workers from the vibration environment but they need to have their basis in the experimental research.

The present in-vitro project addresses the effect of dynamic cyclic loading in anterior-posterior direction on the mechanical properties of the lumbar spine within the working age group, the effect of loading level, and the influence of gender.

Financially supported by the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA; F1899, F2069 and F2059)