Effects of Load History on Ovine Spinal Range of Motion
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Loading of spinal motion segment units alters biomechanical properties by modifying flexibility and range of motion. This study utilizes angular displacement due to an applied bending moment to assess biomechanical function during high-magnitude and prolonged compressive loading of ovine lumbar motion segments. High compressive loads, representative of physiological lifestyle and occupational behaviors, appear to limit fluid recovery of the intervertebral disc, thereby modifying spinal flexibility and increasing spinal instability. Intermittent extensions, or backwards bending movements, may provide a protective effect against the load-induced spinal instability. This study contributes a greater understanding of the effects of load history on the function and health of the lumbar spine. Findings may inform future efforts investigating adjustments in spinal posture to preserve or promote the recovery of lumbar spinal biomechanics.