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Journal of Healthcare Engineering
Volume 2017, Article ID 6294503, 10 pages
Research Article

The Effect of Lumbar Disc Herniation on Spine Loading Characteristics during Trunk Flexion and Two Types of Picking Up Activities

1Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
2Biomechanics and Biotechnology Lab, Research Institute of Tsinghua University in Shenzhen, Shenzhen, China
3National Research Center for Rehabilitation Technical Aids, Beijing, China
4Department of Orthopedics, Shenzhen Second People’s Hospital, Shenzhen, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Wenyu Zhou; moc.361@nps_uynewuohz

Received 22 February 2017; Revised 16 April 2017; Accepted 26 April 2017; Published 11 June 2017

Academic Editor: Wenxin Niu

Copyright © 2017 Shengzheng Kuai et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The main purpose of this study was to investigate the compensatory response of the muscle activities of seventeen major muscle groups in the spinal region, intradiscal forces of the five lumbar motion segment units (MSUs), and facet forces acting on the ten lumbar facet joints in patients with lumbar disc herniation (LDH). Twenty-six healthy adults and seven LDH patients performed trunk flexion, ipsilateral picking up, and contralateral picking up in sequence. Eight optical markers were placed on the landmarks of the pelvis and spinal process. The coordinates of these markers were captured to drive a musculoskeletal model to calculate the muscle activities, intradiscal forces, and facet forces. The muscle activities of the majority of the seventeen major muscle groups were found increases in LDH patients. In addition, the LDH patients displayed larger compressive forces and anteroposterior forces on all the five lumbar MSUs and more lumbar facet inventions on most facet joints. These findings suggest that the LDH patients demonstrate compensatory increases in the most trunk muscle activities and all spinal loads. These negative compensatory responses increase the risk of the aggravation of disc herniation. Therefore, treatment should intervene as earlier as possible for the severe LDH patients.