We developed and validated a fully articulated model of the thoracolumbar spine in opensim that includes the individual vertebrae, ribs, and sternum. To ensure trunk muscles in the model accurately represent muscles in vivo, we used a novel approach to adjust muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) and position using computed tomography (CT) scans of the trunk sampled from a community-based cohort. Model predictions of vertebral compressive loading and trunk muscle tension were highly correlated to previous in vivo measures of intradiscal pressure (IDP), vertebral loading from telemeterized implants and trunk muscle myoelectric activity recorded by electromyography (EMG).

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