Date of Award

Fall 1990

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biomedical Engineering


As the etiology of low-back pain remains unclear to clinicians, investigations about the biomechanics of the lumbar spine are needed. Pain generating sites in the low-back are not well defined nor completely understood. Prolapsed intervertebral disc is now well known to cause nerve root pressure. However, in patients with low-back pain and no evidence of prolapsed disc, the source of pain may not be identified. Ligament fibers are innervated with nociceptive receptors which may generate pain signals when the fibers are subjected to abnormal stresses. To determine the regions of these abnormal stresses in the lumbar intervertebral joint, the mechanism by which ligaments resist loading is necessary to be known. This work is a step in that direction to quantify the mechanics of the ligaments of the lumbar spine under flexion-compression loading. A mathematical model of the lumbar motion segment was constructed to determine the force responses in individual intervertebral spinal elements...



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