Back pain is a leading cause of lost productivity in the United States and is the most common reason for worker compensation claims [1]. Back pain often occurs in the lower (lumbar) spine due in part to the higher loads placed on it compared to the rest of the spine, including large moments during lifting activities [2]. The prevalence and debilitating nature of back pain drives the need to study the mechanical behavior of the spine under physiologically-relevant loading conditions, e.g. axial compression and anterior bending.

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