Spine alignment and neck muscle activity during simulated vehicle rollovers

Researcher(s): Dr. Peter Cripton

Researchers in Dr. Peter Cripton’s laboratory want to understand how people activate their neck muscles, and how the activation affects spinal posture right before head-first impacts. Able-bodied participants are being recruited for this study.

The aim of this study is to characterize vertebral alignment and neck muscle responses in the cervical spine by studying a human subject in a simulated impending head-first impact, in an upside-down configuration. A custom inversion device was built to expose human subjects to a 312 ms inverted free-fall. An onboard fluoroscopic c-arm captures cervical vertebral motion while indwelling electromyography (EMG) captures the response of 8 superficial and deep neck muscles. (From Schoenfeld, 2018; more information here)

Why should you participate in this study?
Vehicle rollovers account for 3% of motor vehicle crashes yet cause one-third of all crash-related fatalities. Despite advanced cervical spine injury models, a discrepancy exists between clinically reported injuries and cadaver test pathologies. The in vivo data set acquired from this experiment of vertebral and muscular responses could be used to improve and validate current injury models and advance injury prevention strategies in rollover crashes

Figure 1: Four video frames from the inverted drop condition. The first three frames show the subject being raised to the fixed drop height. The last frame shows the subject during the free fall drop condition. (Schoenfeld, 2018).

You may be eligible to participate in this study if you area able-bodied and between 19 and 45 years old.

You may not be eligible to participate if you

  • have prior whiplash injury, regardless of source
  • have a history of neck or back pain
  • have a known disease affecting your muscles or nerves
  • have a history of balance problems
  • have a known heart condition
  • have a skin disease
  • have a history of cancer
  • are pregnant
  • have been involved in a study involving radiation in the last year.

Time commitment: 4-5 hours
Compensation for participation: unfortunately, no monetary compensation (But cookies 🙂 )
The study will take place at MEA Forensic Engineers & Scientists near No.5 Rd and Steveston Hwy, Richmond

For more information or to sign up to participate, please contact the study coordinator, Loay Al-Salehi, by email or call (604) 704-3132