The kinematics information from imaging, if combined with optimization-based biomechanical models, may provide a unique platform for personalized assessment of trunk muscle forces (TMFs). Such a method, however, is feasible only if differences in lumbar spine kinematics due to differences in TMFs can be captured by the current imaging techniques. A finite element model of the spine within an optimization procedure was used to estimate segmental kinematics of lumbar spine associated with five different sets of TMFs. Each set of TMFs was associated with a hypothetical trunk neuromuscular strategy that optimized one aspect of lower back biomechanics. For each set of TMFs, the segmental kinematics of lumbar spine was estimated for a single static trunk flexed posture involving, respectively, 40° and 10° of thoracic and pelvic rotations. Minimum changes in the angular and translational deformations of a motion segment with alterations in TMFs ranged from 0° to 0.7° and 0 mm to 0.04 mm, respectively. Maximum changes in the angular and translational deformations of a motion segment with alterations in TMFs ranged from 2.4° to 7.6° and 0.11 mm to 0.39 mm, respectively. The differences in kinematics of lumbar segments between each combination of two sets of TMFs in 97% of cases for angular deformation and 55% of cases for translational deformation were within the reported accuracy of current imaging techniques. Therefore, it might be possible to use image-based kinematics of lumbar segments along with computational modeling for personalized assessment of TMFs.

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Published in Journal of Biomechanics, v. 70, p. 82-87.

© 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

This manuscript version is made available under the CC‐BY‐NC‐ND 4.0 license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/.

The document available for download is the author's post-peer-review final draft of the article.

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This work was supported, in part, by an award (5R03HD086512-02) from the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NIH-NICHD) and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, through the Peer Reviewed Orthopaedic Research Program (award #W81XWH-14-2-0144).