Modeling and simulation of tissue load in the human spine
Low back disorders (LBDs) are highly prevalent worldwide, affecting up to 85 per cent of adults at some time in their lives, causing suffering, disability and loss of productivity (Frymoyer, 1996). The one-year prevalence rate in the US, Germany, Norway, and Sweden, for instance, has been reported to be as high as 56 per cent, 59 per cent, 61 per cent and 70 per cent, respectively (Ihlebaek et al., 2006; Manchikanti, 2000; Schneider et al., 2007). They remain as a major economic burden on individuals, industries and societies as a whole. In the US during 2005 alone, the total cost associated with LBDs has been suggested to vary from $100 to $200 billion (Katz, 2006) that is comparable with an estimated $81.2 billion in damage associated with the Hurricane Katrina, recognized as the costliest natural disaster in the US history, that took place in the same year (Wikipedia Encyclopedia, 2006).