Trunk muscle geometry and centroid location when twisting

Y. H. Tsuang, G. J. Novak, O. D. Schipplein, A. Hafezi, J. H. Trafimow, G. B.J. Andersson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The trunk muscles of the lumbar region were studied using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in five male volunteers placed in neutral and in two twisted postures. Using a CAD digitizing system, the positions of trunk muscle centroids and the cross-sectional areas of these muscles were measured from the transverse scans at 1 cm intervals from L2 to S1. Muscle lines of action were created by connecting the muscle centroids from the successive sections. Changes in cross-sectional areas and displacements of centroids in a three-dimensional coordinate system and the local two-dimensional coordinate system were estimated at each disc level. In the three-dimensional coordinate system, all muscle centroids were displaced when twisting. Thus, the locations and orientations of all muscle lines of action changed. In the local two-dimensional coordinate system, only the muscle centroids of four abdominal muscles were displaced. Most of these displacements occurred in the first 25° of twisting. Higher up in the lumbar spine, the displacement was greater. The changes in moment arms were sometimes as great as twofold. Only the abdominal oblique muscle (AOM) changed their cross-sectional area significantly; the area of the right AOM ipsilateral to the side of twisting increased, while that of the left AOM was decreased.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-546
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


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