Back pain is a well known health issue and several approaches to understanding the mechanics and dynamics of the spine, including mechanical testing, are used. Presently, several spine testing devices, such as those described in [1,2], are available which impose physiologic loads for various postures of the spine. Although these devices are successful at simulating physiologic loads, they do so by imposing non-physiologic boundary conditions. Thus, we believe the fabrication of a spine testing apparatus that addresses these deficiencies is warranted. In this extended abstract, we discuss our design and development of a robust, physiologic representative mechanical quasi-static testing device using reproducible boundary conditions that approximate, but dont replicate, the in vivo situation. The resulting testing apparatus is shown in Fig. 1. We also present a brief summary of a complementary spine model that is used in conjunction with the spine testing apparatus to predict muscle forces for various spine postures.

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