A novel approach to activate deep spinal muscles in space - results of a biomechanical model

Lindenroth, Lukas, Caplan, Nick, Debuse, Dorothée, Salomoni, Sauro Emerick, Evetts, Simon and Weber, Tobias (2015) A novel approach to activate deep spinal muscles in space - results of a biomechanical model. Acta Astronautica, 116 202-210. doi:10.1016/j.actaastro.2015.07.012

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Author Lindenroth, Lukas
Caplan, Nick
Debuse, Dorothée
Salomoni, Sauro Emerick
Evetts, Simon
Weber, Tobias
Title A novel approach to activate deep spinal muscles in space - results of a biomechanical model
Journal name Acta Astronautica   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0094-5765
Publication date 2015-07-17
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.actaastro.2015.07.012
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 116
Start page 202
End page 210
Total pages 9
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon Press
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Introduction: Exposure to microgravity has various effects on the human musculoskeletal system. During spaceflight many astronauts experience low back pain and the risk of spine injuries is significantly greater post-flight. Nonetheless, the increased lumbo-pelvic injury risk is not specifically addressed by current countermeasures. Considering this, a novel exercise device has been developed to specifically counteract atrophy of deep spinal and postural muscles. The aim of the present study was to test the possibility of transferring this exercise concept from earth to space using a biomechanical simulation.

Methods: A biomechanical model of the exercise device was developed and validated using intramuscular electromyographic (EMG) data as previously acquired on a terrestrial prototype of the exercise device. The model was then modified to the needs of a 0-g environment, creating gravity-like conditions using shoulder straps.

Results: Modelled activation patterns of the investigated muscles were in line with the experimental data, showing a constant activation during exercise. The microgravity modifications of the model lead to increased muscle activation of deep spinal muscles and to decreased activation of superficial moment creating trunk muscles.

Discussion: The results of the biomechanical model suggest that the exercise concept can be transferred from 1-g to space conditions. The present study is a first step in the investigation process of a novel exercise concept and human studies should be conducted to confirm the present theoretical investigation.
Keyword Astronaut training
Low back pain
Lumbar multifidus
Spinal health
Transversus abdominis
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: UQ Centre for Clinical Research Publications
Official 2016 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 1 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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