Effects of continuous quantitative vibration on rheologic and biological behaviors of the intervertebral disc

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1992 Mar;17(3 Suppl):S7-12. doi: 10.1097/00007632-199203001-00002.


The authors attempted to investigate the effect of vibration on the physiologic behavior of the intervertebral disc from rheologic and biological responses. Using fresh disc-cartilaginous end plate complexes of porcine coccygeal vertebrae, the frequency characteristics of dynamic compressive elastic modulus and dissipated energy were monitored by means of a biomechanical spectrometer. The effect of vibration on proteoglycan synthetic rates and solute transport in the intervertebral disc were analyzed using a radioisotope. When the disc-cartilaginous plate complexes were subjected to sinusoidal vibration with a static load of 5 N and a vibratory load of 3 N, the elastic modulus decreased at 11 Hz compared with 3.5 Hz. After this, it increased again at 35 Hz. The dissipated energy increased rapidly with an increase in frequency. Proteoglycan synthetic rates did not change appreciably down to the inner and outer layers of the anulus fibrosus, but the rate in the nucleus pulposus alone decreased remarkably at 10 Hz and 35 Hz. Solute transport increased as a response to vibration, particularly in the nucleus pulposus. When the intervertebral disc is exposed to vibration for a long period of time, therefore, the proteoglycan content in the nucleus pulposus may be decreased, eventually resulting in disruption of matrix integrity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Coccyx
  • Elasticity
  • Female
  • Intervertebral Disc / physiology*
  • Male
  • Proteoglycans / biosynthesis
  • Rheology
  • Swine
  • Time Factors
  • Vibration / adverse effects*
  • Viscosity


  • Proteoglycans