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Dysfonctions vertébrales et posturales après simulations de la microgravité

Abstract : This work focuses on the study of back pain experienced by astronauts, who present with a greater incidence of herniated discs compared to a control population. Our research aims at understanding the physiopathology of this phenomenon and to study the clinical consequences of vertebral deconditioning which also contributes to postural disorders. This line of research has been recommended by the various international space agencies. For this reason, we had the opportunity to analyze data in two models simulating the effects of microgravity: dry immersion (n = 11) and head-down bed rest (n = 9), and a similar state, confinement (n = 4). Only the main results of dry immersion, a new method of studying our paradigm, are reported in this summary. Using magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy of the vertebral column, it was possible to analyze the intervertebral disc in 3 dimensions and to objectify the increase in water content (+ 17%) and the increase in intervertebral disc volume (+ 9.5%). Variations in paravertebral and lower limb muscle tone were measured with the very recent, and non-invasive, MyotonPRO technology. A decrease in muscle tone (-7.3%) was found to be associated with muscular atrophy (-10.6%) as well as a loss of strength in the lower limbs. These results, attesting to muscle deconditioning, are consistent with postural impairment immediately after dry immersion. We also studied variations in dental occlusion, which is involved with the maintenance of posture and could affect balance. In summary, two elements are involved in the explanation of vertebral dysfunction: the increase in spine height, related to increased intervertebral discs volume and paravertebral muscles atrophy, which plays a major role in posture. However, we also showed a role of dental occlusion in vertebral and postural deconditioning. In conclusion: muscle tone, good vertebral mobility, and dental occlusion are elements to be preserve during and after an exposure to weightlessness to avoid the deleterious effects of deconditioning.
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Loïc Treffel. Dysfonctions vertébrales et posturales après simulations de la microgravité. Modélisation et simulation. Université de Strasbourg, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017STRAJ111⟩. ⟨tel-01702866⟩

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