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A Musculoskeletal model for the lumbar spine. Christophy M, Faruk Senan NA, Lotz JC, O'Reilly OM. Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology (Published Online Feb 12). (2011)  View

A new musculoskeletal model for the lumbar spine is described in this paper. This model features a rigid pelvis and sacrum, the five lumbar vertebrae, and a rigid torso consisting of a lumped thoracic spine and ribcage. The motion of the individual lumbar vertebrae was defined as a fraction of the net lumbar movement about the three rotational degrees of freedom: flexion-extension lateral bending, and axial rotation. Additionally, the eight main muscle groups of the lumbar spine were incorporated using 238 muscle fascicles with prescriptions for the parameters in the Hill-type muscle models obtained with the help of an extensive literature survey. The features of the model include the abilities to predict joint reactions, muscle forces, and muscle activation patterns. To illustrate the capabilities of the model and validate its physiological similarity, the model's predictions for the moment arms of the muscles are shown for a range of flexion-extension motions of the lower back. The model uses the OpenSim platform and is freely available on https://www.simtk.org/home/lumbarspine to other spinal researchers interested in analyzing the kinematics of the spine. The model can also be integrated with existing OpenSim models to build more comprehensive models of the human body.