The contribution of hand loads to cervical disc compression

Jeffrey C. Woldstad, Javier Nicolalde

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Twenty male and female subjects participated in an experiment to measure the activity in neck muscles above C6/C7 resulting from loads held in the hands. Integrated electromyographs (EMGs) were measured for the spenius, levator scapula, and trapezius (two locations) muscles using surface electrodes. Subjects held no load, five pounds, and ten pounds in each hand with the arms hanging at rest, extended in front of the body, or extended to the sides. The results showed that integrated EMG levels increased as the loads in the hands increased. In addition, signals were larger for loads held to the side of the body as compared to the front of the body, and both of these conditions were much larger than for loads held with the arms hanging. The results demonstrate that loads held in the hands add to the compressive force acting on cervical intervertebral discs and contribute to musculoskeletal injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1021-1025
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
StatePublished - 2001
EventProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 45th Annual Meeting - Minneapolis/St.Paul, MN, United States
Duration: Oct 8 2001Oct 12 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics


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