The basic kinematics of the human spine. A review of past and current knowledge

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1978 Mar;3(1):12-20. doi: 10.1097/00007632-197803000-00003.


Spinal kinematics concerns the kinds and amounts of motion the human spine undergoes during its normal physiologic movements. This paper is a review of the research in this area and provides information about past and current knowledge. The biomechanic terms essential for the precise and accurate description of spinal kinematics are defined, described, and exemplified. Requirements for a comprehensive description of spinal kinematics are presented to provide a perspective for present knowledge and future research. Finally, the current status of spinal kinematic research is described, and information about the ranges of motion of the human spine for various vertebral levels and for motion in different directions is provided.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena*
  • Humans
  • Motion
  • Movement*
  • Rotation
  • Spine / physiology*