An Integrated Back Pain Assessment Framework based on Spine Biomechanics and Probabilistic Reasoning

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-11-C-0251
Agency Tracking Number: N111-019-0987
Amount: $80,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: N111-019
Solicitation Number: 2011.1
Small Business Information
15400 Calhoun Drive, Suite 400, Rockville, MD, -
DUNS: 161911532
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Xiong Liu
 Research Scientist
 (301) 294-4629
Business Contact
 Mark James
Title: Director, Contracts and P
Phone: (301) 294-5221
Research Institution
Back pain is a critical problem for military air crews. As mission durations often exceed the original operational window for which the seating systems were designed, crews are susceptible to both acute and chronic discomfort and pain. Studies have shown that spinal loading and movement have a significant influence on pain. Other studies have linked back pain to anthropometric factors, work related factors, and health history. Yet our knowledge of how spine biomechanics and degenerative change affect or cause pain is limited. A better understanding of the relationship between spine pain and the biomechanical factors unique to military air crews is needed to inform the development of effective prevention and seat design strategies for back disorders. To address this critical challenge, the IAI team proposes to develop a novel framework for back pain assessment that will systematically model and analyze back pain by exploiting spine biomechanics and probabilistic reasoning. The envisioned end-product will be a pain assessment and seat design tool which integrates biomechanical simulation techniques, probabilistic modeling, experimental data, empirical studies, and optimization techniques to offer effective decision making in minimizing chronic back pain.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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