Investing in spine research: Grammer European Spine Journal Award 2018

Six scientists from the University of Auckland recipients of the most generously endowed award in the field of spine research

Amberg, September 24, 2018 – The 19th Grammer European Spine Journal Award was presented at EUROSPINE 2018, the largest European congress devoted to spine health research, which was held on September 19-21 in Barcelona. With prize money of EUR 20,000, it is the world’s most generously endowed award for spine health research, recognizing outstanding achievements in basic and applied research. The coveted award is sponsored by Grammer AG and the European Spine Journal. A panel of experts consisting of editors and members of the scientific advisory board of the European Spine Journal select the best article published in this renowned journal in the previous year.

Damage to the intervertebral discs in the lumbar spine is known to be one of the possible causes of back pain, which afflicts very many people in today’s world. The intervertebral discs connect the vertebral bodies and make the spine flexible. They consist of complex structures that are exposed to strong and complex mechanical loads. How and where the damage occurs in the intervertebral disc and what conditions are responsible for causing it is still largely unknown. A group of spine researchers led by Neil Broom from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, received this year’s Grammer European Spine Journal Award for their research on the lumbar spine, in which they identified more closely the conditions contributing to such damage. In their experiments, they simulated the types of stress frequently encountered in many work or leisure environments on isolated spinal preparations of sheep. The Auckland scientists combined forces that produce heavy lifting, forward bending, lateral movements and spinal rotation with either a slow or fast action. Their experiments showed that complex forces and torque, especially in connection with rapid action, greatly increased the risk of damage to the intervertebral disc. Their study is potentially highly relevant for people who take part in fast sports activities or, for example, operate off-road vehicles where working postures combined with high acceleration and rotation of the torso occur.

The European Spine Journal published the findings in two articles entitled “A more realistic disc herniation model incorporating compression, flexion and facet-constrained shear: a mechanical and microstructural analysis. Part I: Low rate loading, Part II: High rate or ‘surprise’ loading“ (Eur Spine J (2017) 26: 2616-2628 and Eur Spine J (2017) 26: 2629-2641).

Scientifically based product development
As one of the world’s leading seat manufacturers, Grammer considers ergonomic seating to be of crucial importance. Last year, the company held the 3rd Grammer Ergomechanics® Conference in Amberg, Germany, with great success. This congress presented the latest findings from spine research and solutions for improving spinal health at driver workplaces and in mobility. Grammer has also been actively supporting spine research since 2000 with the annual European Spine Journal Award. Thanks to the close cooperation with specialists from science and research, Grammer has access to the latest findings in the field of spine research, which it directly incorporates in its product development activities. This ensures that Grammer seats are designed to meet maximum comfort and ergonomics requirements.

All information on the previous and current winners of the European Spine Journal Award and information on ergonomics can be found on the Grammer website under the following link:

Company profile
Located in Amberg, Germany, Grammer AG specializes in the development and production of components and systems for automotive interiors as well as suspension driver and passenger seats for onroad and offroad vehicles. In the Automotive Division, we supply headrests, armrests, center console systems and high-quality interior components and operating systems to premium automakers and automotive system suppliers. The Commercial Vehicle Division comprises seats for the truck and offroad seat segments (tractors, construction machinery, forklifts) as well as train and bus seats. With over 13,000 employees, Grammer operates in 19 countries around the world. Grammer shares are listed in the Prime Standard and traded on the Frankfurt and Munich stock exchanges via the electronic trading system Xetra.


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