Online citations, reference lists, and bibliographies.
← Back to Search

Flexion Relaxation During Lifting: Implications For Torque Production By Muscle Activity And Tissue Strain At The Lumbo-sacral Joint.

H. Toussaint, A. D. de Winter, Y. de Haas, M. D. de Looze, J. V. van Dieën, I. Kingma
Published 1995 · Engineering, Medicine

Cite This
Download PDF
Analyze on Scholarcy
Share
During the full flexion phase of the back lift movement the lumbar part of the erector spinae muscle exhibits a reduced activity level (flexion relaxation). This study addresses the question how the required extension torque in the lumbo-sacral joint (L5/S1 joint) is balanced during the period in which apparently the lumbar erector spinae ceases to take its share. Six subjects participated in the experiment in which they performed seven lifting tasks. The load, the range of movement, and the phase in which the load was handled (lifting or lowering) were varied. A dynamic linked segment model was applied to determine the momentary torques acting at the L5/S1 joint, while the EMGs of the lumbar and thoracic part of the erector spinae muscle were measured. Furthermore, the lengths between markers on the lumbar and thoracic part of the trunk were determined to reveal changes in length during the movement. The dynamic EMGs were normalized to trunk angle-dependent maximal levels. The L5/S1 joint torques were analysed and combined with the normalized EMG data and the kinematics of the trunk, which are assumed to indicate the elongation of passive tissues. Although in the normalization procedure the change of the length-force relationship of the erector spinae was taken into account, the dynamic lumbar EMG activity decreased to a low-activity level (the phenomenon of flexion relaxation). This coincided with a 25% increase in lumbar length suggesting that passive tissue strain provided part of the required extension torque. In the tasks where a barbell was handled a significant increase in EMG level of the thoracic part of the erector spinae occurred just before the flexion relaxation at the lumbar level. Apparently, the extensor function of the lumbar part is then taken over by the thoracic part of the erector spinae muscle. This suggests that an intricate coordinating mechanism is operative that apportions the load to be balanced over active--(lumbar and thoracic part of the erector spinae) and passive structures (post vertebral ligaments).
This paper references
10.1002/AJA.1001330103
Electromyography of deep back muscles in man.
E. W. Donisch (1972)
10.1080/00140139208967821
Decrease in back strength in asymmetric trunk postures.
P. Vink (1992)
10.1097/00007632-198703000-00009
Effect of Lumbar Posture on Lifting
D. Hart (1987)
10.1016/0021-9290(85)90032-6
Dynamically and statically determined low back moments during lifting.
S. McGill (1985)
10.1016/0268-0033(91)90053-S
Influence of posture on the relation between surface electromyogram amplitude and back muscle moment: consequences for the use of surface electromyogram to measure back load.
L.J. Mouton (1991)
10.1016/0021-9290(85)90012-0
A biomechanical model of the lumbosacral joint during lifting activities.
C. Anderson (1985)
10.1097/00007632-199107000-00017
The Attachments of the Lumbar Erector Spinae
J. Macintosh (1991)
10.1080/00140138508963209
A kinesiologic study of erectores spinae activity during trunk flexion and extension.
K. Tanii (1985)
10.1016/0021-9290(86)90111-9
Mechanical properties of lumbar spine motion segments under large loads.
J. A. Miller (1986)
10.1016/0268-0033(86)90028-8
Has the lumbar spine a margin of safety in forward bending?
M. Adams (1986)
10.1080/00140139108967318
The quantification of EMG normalization error.
G. Mirka (1991)
10.1097/00007632-199012000-00018
Analysis of Spinal and Muscular Activity During Flexion/Extension and Free Lifts
S. Gracovetsky (1990)
10.1097/00007632-197609000-00009
Quantitative Studies of Back Loads in Lifting
G. Andersson (1976)
10.1016/0021-9290(92)90242-S
Lumbar posterior ligament involvement during extremely heavy lifts estimated from fluoroscopic measurements.
J. Cholewicki (1992)
10.1097/00005373-197809000-00003
The role of trauma in low back pain: a review.
J. Frymoyer (1978)
10.1097/00007632-199109000-00015
Trunk Muscle and Lumbar Ligament Contributions to Dynamic Lifts with Varying Degrees of Trunk Flexion
J. Potvin (1991)
Biomechanics of Human Movement
D. Winter (1980)
10.1097/00007632-198105000-00007
The Mechanism of the Lumbar Spine
S. Gracovetsky (1981)
10.1016/0021-9290(93)90013-5
The relationship between EMG activity and extensor moment generation in the erector spinae muscles during bending and lifting activities.
P. Dolan (1993)
An electromyographic study of the intrinsic muscles of the back in man.
J. Morris (1962)
10.1016/0021-9290(85)90041-7
Predictions of knee and ankle moments of force in walking from EMG and kinematic data.
S. Olney (1985)
10.1016/0268-0033(92)90028-3
Value of biomechanical macromodels as suitable tools for the prevention of work-related low back problems.
N. Delleman (1992)
10.1002/AJA.1001200104
Properties of body segments based on size and weight
W. T. Dempster (1967)
10.1097/00007632-198005000-00007
The Resistance to Flexion of the Lumbar Intervertebral Joint
M. Adams (1980)
10.1016/0021-9290(83)90050-7
Moments of force and mechanical power in jogging.
D. Winter (1983)
A mathematical model of the lumbar spine using an optimized system to control muscles and ligaments.
S. Gracovetsky (1977)
10.1097/00007632-197703000-00005
Electromyographic Studies of Trunk Muscles, With Special Reference to the Functional Anatomy of the Lumbar Spine
R. Örtengren (1977)
10.1097/00007632-199203000-00014
Erector Spinae Activation and Movement Dynamics About the Lumbar Spine in Lordotic and Kyphotic Squat-Lifting
J. A. Holmes (1992)
Effect of work on degenerative back disease
G. Wickström (1978)
10.1136/oem.42.4.226
Back pain and heavy physical work: a comparative study of concrete reinforcement workers and maintenance house painters.
H. Riihimäki (1985)
10.1097/00007632-198207000-00009
Analysis and Quantitative Myoelectric Measurements of Loads on the Lumbar Spine when Holding Weights in Standing Postures
A. Schultz (1982)
10.1249/00005768-199110000-00013
Electromechanical delay during knee extensor contractions.
E. J. Vos (1991)
10.1080/00140138308963419
Spinal loading in static and dynamic postures: EMG and intra-abdominal pressure study.
S. Kumar (1983)
10.1113/jphysiol.1955.sp005347
The function of the erectores spinae muscles in certain movements and postures in man *
W. Floyd (1955)
10.1002/JOR.1100030208
Quantitative studies of the flexion‐relaxation phenomenon in the back muscles
A. Schultz (1985)
10.1007/978-1-4613-9030-5_23
Role of Muscle in Postural Tasks: Spinal Loading and Postural Stability
G. Andersson (1990)
10.1097/00007632-198709000-00004
1987 Volvo Award in Basic Science: The Morphology of the Lumbar Erector Spinae
J. Macintosh (1987)
10.1016/0268-0033(92)90031-X
Validation of a dynamic linked segment model to calculate joint moments in lifting.
M. D. de Looze (1992)
10.1152/AJPLEGACY.1939.125.2.339
FORCES AND ENERGY CHANGES IN THE LEG DURING WALKING
H. Elftman (1939)
10.1016/0268-0033(86)90118-x
Trunk strength, back muscle endurance and low-back trouble.
T. Nicolaisen (1985)
10.1249/00005768-198602000-00009
Analysis of the reliability and validity of the kinetic communicator exercise device.
M. Farrell (1986)
10.1080/0002889738506892
A longitudinal study of low-back pain as associated with occupational weight lifting factors.
D. Chaffin (1973)
10.1136/pgmj.39.449.162-b
Muscles Alive—their functions revealed by electromyography
J. Basmajian (1963)
10.1097/00007632-198609000-00004
1986 Volvo Award in Biomechanics: Partitioning of the L4 - L5 Dynamic Moment into Disc, Ligamentous, and Muscular Components During Lifting
S. McGill (1986)
10.1016/0021-9290(88)90192-3
Biomechanical model calculation of muscle contraction forces: a double linear programming method.
J. Bean (1988)
10.1097/00007632-198410000-00015
Posture Related to Myoelectric Silence of Erectores Spinae During Trunk Flexion
V. Kippers (1984)
10.1097/00007632-198405000-00013
Low-Back Pain in Nurses and Some Loading Factors of Work
T. Videman (1984)
A reappraisal of the anatomy of the human lumbar erector spinae.
N. Bogduk (1980)
10.1080/00140138208924934
The load on the lumbo-sacral joint and trunk muscle activity during lifting.
J. Ekholm (1982)
10.1016/0141-5425(90)90010-K
Mechanical function of the human lumbar interspinous and supraspinous ligaments.
R. J. Hindle (1990)
Muscular mechanism of the lumbar spine and the position of power and efficiency.
Farfan Hf (1975)
10.1007/BF00233851
The electro-mechanical delay of the erector spinae muscle: influence of rate of force development, fatigue and electrode location
J. Dieën (2004)
10.1007/BF02396587
Electromyography of lumbar erector spinae muscles — influence of posture, interelectrode distance, strength, and fatigue
R. Rosenburg (2006)



This paper is referenced by
10.1016/J.JBIOMECH.2007.08.010
Computation of trunk equilibrium and stability in free flexion-extension movements at different velocities.
B. Bazrgari (2008)
10.1097/00007632-200210010-00014
Factors in Breathing Maneuvers That Affect Trunk Electromyogram During Manual Lifting
Sue-may Kang (2002)
10.1016/S0167-9457(97)00032-8
Does an asymmetric straddle-legged lifting movement reduce the low-back load?
M. D. Looze (1998)
10.1016/S0268-0033(97)00044-2
Coordination between the lumbar spine lordosis and trunk angle during weight lifting.
AB Mitnitski (1998)
Lumbar Posture During Spinal Loading-Implications for Exercise and Vocational Rehabilitation
G. Mawston (2012)
10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181e96388
Specificity of a back muscle roman chair exercise in healthy and back pain subjects.
C. Larivière (2011)
10.1249/01.MSS.0000495492.14974.31
Recovery Of Force Output And Electromyography From Trunk Muscles After Cyclic Passive Loading.: 2486 Board #191 May 30, 9
S. Vij (2014)
Evaluation of flexion-relaxation in the thoracic erector spinae and superficial lumbar multifidus during standing flexion and slumped sitting
J. Armstrong (2013)
Methods for description, analysis and assessment of work technique in manual handling tasks
K. Kjellberg (1998)
10.1080/00140139.2015.1081988
Exoskeletons for industrial application and their potential effects on physical work load
M. D. de Looze (2016)
10.1016/j.gaitpost.2018.11.034
Muscular tension significantly affects stability in standing posture.
Simone Tassani (2019)
10.1007/s00586-006-0240-7
Analysis of squat and stoop dynamic liftings: muscle forces and internal spinal loads
B. Bazrgari (2006)
10.1097/BRS.0b013e3181aa6a55
Creep and Fatigue Development in the Low Back in Static Flexion
G. Shin (2009)
10.1080/00222899809601319
Effects of repetitive lifting on kinematics: inadequate anticipatory control or adaptive changes?
J. V. van Dieën (1998)
10.1097/01.brs.0000228845.27561.e0
Evaluation of the Flexion Relaxation Phenomenon of the Trunk Muscles in Sitting
P. O'Sullivan (2006)
10.1179/1743288X15Y.0000000014
Lumbar posture biomechanics and its influence on the functional anatomy of the erector spinae and multifidus
G. Mawston (2015)
The effect of lumbar posture on spinal loading and the function of the erector spinae: implications for exercise and vocational rehabilitation
G. Mawston (2012)
Low back pain and lifting: a review of epidemiology and aetiology.
M. Cole (2003)
10.1007/s00421-010-1742-x
Passive repetitive loading of the lumbar tissues influences force output and EMG during maximal efforts
Michael W Olson (2010)
Biomechanical characteristics of low back tissues during trunk flexion-extension
Michael W Olson (2006)
10.1016/S0268-0033(01)00106-1
A biomechanical comparison of lifting techniques between subjects with and without chronic low back pain during freestyle lifting and lowering tasks.
C. Larivière (2002)
Functional Anatomy in Low Back Rehabilitation: Balance in the Biopsychosocial Model
J. V. Wingerden (2009)
10.1016/S0268-0033(03)00166-9
Repeated spinal flexion modulates the flexion-relaxation phenomenon.
J. Dickey (2003)
Work technique in lifting and patient transfer tasks
K. Kjellberg (2003)
10.1016/J.ERGON.2006.08.004
Effect of different multipliers and their interactions during manual lifting operations
R. Maiti (2006)
Lifting characteristics of functionally limited elders.
M. Puniello (2000)
10.1097/00005768-199709000-00015
Anticipatory postural adjustments in the back and leg lift.
H. Toussaint (1997)
10.4324/9780203889688.CH3
Modeling and simulation of tissue load in the human spine
N. Arjmand (2008)
10.1002/mus.22154
Passive trunk loading influences muscle activation during dynamic activity
Michael W Olson (2011)
10.33915/etd.5828
The Influence of Slanted Ground Surfaces on Trunk Biomechanics and Stability During Trunk Bending
Boyi Hu (2016)
10.1080/14639220110102044
Biomechanical aspects of work-related musculoskeletal disorders
R. Radwin (2001)
10.1016/J.CLINBIOMECH.2007.10.012
The effect of on-body lift assistive device on the lumbar 3D dynamic moments and EMG during asymmetric freestyle lifting.
Mohammad Abdoli-E (2008)
See more
Semantic Scholar Logo Some data provided by SemanticScholar