IOE 899: Seminar in Industrial and Operations Engineering
Wed Sep 19, 2012, 4:00-5:00pm, 1680 IOE
Maury Nussbaum, Virginia Tech
"Occupational Trunk Flexion and Neuromuscular Disturbances"
|In this talk, I will summarize our ongoing research that is assessing the effects of trunk flexion on several neuromuscular aspects of trunk behavior. Trunk flexion has been associated with an increased risk of occupational low back pain (LBP). Yet, the biomechanical and/or physiological mechanisms linking these exposures with LBP are still largely unknown. After briefly reviewing the state of current understanding, I will describe a new set of methods we have developed. These methods include a laboratory environment, controlled trunk perturbations, and models to derive estimates of intrinsic and reflexive behaviors. In our studies, participants are exposed to controlled levels of prolonged or repetitive trunk flexion, inducing both acute and accumulative load relaxation and creep of viscoelastic tissues in the lumbar spine. Several completed studies will be reviewed, in which the effects of load relaxation and creep were investigated, and the influence of different exposure variables was determined (flexion duration, flexion angle, and external load). This work adds to growing evidence that trunk flexion imposes a higher risk of mechanical injury, due to potential spinal instability resulting from neuromuscular disturbances.|
|Dr. Nussbaum is a Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) and a core faculty in the School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences at Virginia Tech. He is co-Director of the Industrial Ergonomics and Biomechanics Laboratory within ISE, and directs VT's Occupational Safety and Health Research Center (OSHRC) . He received his undergraduate (ME) and graduate education (BME and IOE) at The University of Michigan, where he also completed a two-year post-doctoral position (with Dr. Chaffin). He is the managing editor of a new IIE journal (Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors). His research covers a variety of areas within the fields of biomechanics, work physiology, and ergonomics, with a primary goal of occupational injury prevention. Recent research topics include (in no special order): low-back and shoulder biomechanics, exposure assessment, fall prevention, localized muscle fatigue, aging and obesity effects on physical capacity and injury risk, product design and evaluation, and applied electromyography.|
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