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Compensatory strategies during walking in response to excessive muscle co-contraction at the ankle joint
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Mechanics.
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Mechanics, Biomechanics.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5417-5939
2014 (English)In: Gait & Posture, ISSN 0966-6362, E-ISSN 1879-2219, Vol. 39, no 3, 926-932 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Excessive co-contraction causes inefficient or abnormal movement in several neuromuscular pathologies. How synergistic muscles spanning the ankle, knee and hip adapt to co-contraction of ankle muscles is not well understood. This study aimed to identify the compensation strategies required to retain normal walking with excessive antagonistic ankle muscle co-contraction. Muscle-actuated simulations of normal walking were performed to quantify compensatory mechanisms of ankle and knee muscles during stance in the presence of normal, medium and high levels of co-contraction of antagonistic pairs gastrocnemius + tibialis anterior and soleus + tibialis anterior. The study showed that if co-contraction increases, the synergistic ankle muscles can compensate; with gastrocmemius + tibialis anterior co-contraction, the soleus will increase its contribution to ankle plantarflexion acceleration. At the knee, however, almost all muscles spanning the knee and hip are involved in compensation. We also found that ankle and knee muscles alone can provide sufficient compensation at the ankle joint, but hip muscles must be involved to generate sufficient knee moment. Our findings imply that subjects with a rather high level of dorsiflexor + plantarflexor co-contraction can still perform normal walking. This also suggests that capacity of other lower limb muscles to compensate is important to retain normal walking in co-contracted persons. The compensatory mechanisms can be useful in clinical interpretation of motion analyses, when secondary muscle co-contraction or other deficits may present simultaneously in subjects with motion disorders.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 39, no 3, 926-932 p.
Keyword [en]
Gait analysis, Muscle-actuated simulation, Gastrocnemius, Soleus, Tibialis anterior
National Category
Neurology Orthopedics
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-144376DOI: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2013.12.002ISI: 000332960600017ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84895888426OAI: diva2:713264
Swedish Research Council

QC 20140422

Available from: 2014-04-22 Created: 2014-04-22 Last updated: 2014-04-22Bibliographically approved

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