Although there has been a large number of mathematical models proposed for the simulation of spinal response to acceleration, few have been validated against experimental data and none appears to reflect the actual conditions of load transmission from one vertebra to the next. This paper provides a brief survey of existing spinal models and presents a discrete parameter model with experimental validation. The transmission of load via the articular facets is a major new feature of the model, based on previously obtained experimental data. Good correlation was obtained between the model results and experimentally measured spinal loads for different impact acceleration levels and spinal configurations.

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