Date of Award

Fall 2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Hans Raj Chaudhry

Second Advisor

Thomas W. Findley

Third Advisor

William C. Van Buskirk

Fourth Advisor

Sunil Saigal

Fifth Advisor

Max Roman

Abstract

This study aims to quantitatively evaluate the low back condition so that low back dysfunction can be identified and classified when measurements show a variance from the normal. The evaluation is done by using the hysteresis concept. In this study, subjects received two different types of treatment: massaging using a mechanical massager for ten minutes and manual massaging by a professional physician. Using the Automated Anatomic Torsion Monitor (A-ATM), the low back of the subject was evaluated before and after treatment. The change in Hysteresis Loop Area (HLA) was -12.5% for mechanical massaging and -15.7% for manual massaging. The negative sign indicates improvement due to the treatments.

This study also theoretically measured the stiffness of the low back due to these treatments to see their effect before and after treatment.

In addition, this research also provides mathematical modeling of the preventive measures for low back pain, such as finding the reactive force at the fifth lumbar vertebra (L5) versus the inclination of the back from the vertical. Also, the ideal position of the cushion support while sitting on the chair is investigated.

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