Biomechanics, Spine

Brief Lessons in Biomechanics: Taking Care of the Spine

Biomechanics: Taking Care of the Spine

Brief Lessons in Biomechanics - Something to consider in those quiet moments over the weekend .... check out what it has say about optimal lifting and sitting positions.

The Importance of A Neutral Spine

Article by biomechanist, the Fitness Pollenator

Just about everybody knows that picking things up off the floor with a round back is dangerous, but did you know that an overly arched back can be just as bad?

The resultant force due to gravity always acts straight down. Viewed from the spine, this force can be broken down into two components:

1. a compressive force that pushes the vertebrae together along their longitudinal axis, which the spine tolerates well, and

2. a shear force that pulls the vertebrae apart transversely, which the spine doesn't like nearly as much.

In the image above, you can see that the size of the resultant force due to gravity is the same for both the neutral spine and the arched spine. However, that nasty shear component is clearly larger for the arched spine than the neutral one.

Maintaining a neutral spine position (by tightening the abs and glutes) during both bending and overhead movements means that more of the force gets transmitted through compression as opposed to shear, keeping you safer and pain-free.

Read the full article by clicking here.

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