# Q & A: How much pressure on my spine?

Q:
Hello To All Physics. My Name is Christopher and in dyer need of some answers. Can Anyone figure out how much pressure my spine absorbed when i fell off a ladder??? Height 6`4 Weight 210lbs. Fell 22ft. Strait down Landed on my feet, more my right leg Then dropped to ground. Nothing was broken (thanks to God) Can someone PLEASE HELP Thanks Christopher Chris18492@yahoo.com With Answers
- Christopher (age 41)
Giberts, IL
A:
The short answer is we don't know: too many variables other than obvious ones you have given.  It depends on whether your legs were stiff, whether your knees were bent, type of landing surface etc, etc.  The time of de-acceleration  is a prime variable.
For all things being equal the amount energy needed to stop your fall is proportional to the height.  The only way to know the actual pressure is to drop a bunch of instrumented test dummies from various heights and measure it.
Consider yourself lucky.

LeeH

(published on 11/26/2009)