Effect of strength and speed of torque development on balance recovery with the ankle strategy.
ABSTRACT In the event of an unexpected disturbance to balance, the ability to recover a stable upright stance should depend not only on the magnitude of torque that can be generated by contraction of muscles spanning the lower extremity joints but also on how quickly these torques can be developed. In the present study, we used a combination of experimental and mathematical models of balance recovery by sway (feet in place responses) to test this hypothesis. Twenty-three young subjects participated in experiments in which they were supported in an inclined standing position by a horizontal tether and instructed to recover balance by contracting only their ankle muscles. The maximum lean angle where they could recover balance without release of the tether (static recovery limit) averaged 14.9 +/- 1.4 degrees (mean +/- SD). The maximum initial lean angle where they could recover balance after the tether was unexpectedly released and the ankles were initially relaxed (dynamic recovery limit) averaged 5.9 +/- 1.1 degrees, or 60 +/- 11% smaller than the static recovery limit. Peak ankle torque did not differ significantly between the two conditions (and averaged 116 +/- 32 Nm), indicating the strong effect on recovery ability of latencies in the onset and subsequent rates of torque generation (which averaged 99 +/- 13 ms and 372 +/- 267 N. m/s, respectively). Additional experiments indicated that dynamic recovery limits increased 11 +/- 14% with increases in the baseline ankle torques prior to release (from an average value of 31 +/- 18 to 54 +/- 24 N. m). These trends are in agreement with predictions from a computer simulation based on an inverted pendulum model, which illustrate the specific combinations of baseline ankle torque, rate of torque generation, and peak ankle torque that are required to attain target recovery limits.
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ABSTRACT: Mobility characteristics associated with activity of daily living such as sitting down, lying down, rising up, and walking are considered to be important in maintaining functional independence and healthy life style especially for the growing elderly population. Characteristics of postural transitions such as sit-to-stand are widely used by clinicians as a physical indicator of health, and walking is used as an important mobility assessment tool. Many tools have been developed to assist in the assessment of functional levels and to detect a persons activities during daily life. These include questionnaires, observation, diaries, kinetic and kinematic systems, and validated functional tests. These measures are costly and time consuming, rely on subjective patient recall and may not accurately reflect functional ability in the patients home. In order to provide a low-cost, objective assessment of functional ability, inertial measurement unit (IMU) using MEMS technology has been employed to ascertain ADLs. These measures facilitate long-term monitoring of activity of daily living using wearable sensors. IMU system are desirable in monitoring human postures since they respond to both frequency and the intensity of movements and measure both dc (gravitational acceleration vector) and ac (acceleration due to body movement) components at a low cost. This has enabled the development of a small, lightweight, portable system that can be worn by a free-living subject without motion impediment TEMPO (Technology Enabled Medical Precision Observation). Using this IMU system, we acquired indirect measures of biomechanical variables that can be used as an assessment of individual mobility characteristics with accuracy and recognition rates that are comparable to the modern motion capture systems. In this study, five subjects performed various ADLs and mobility measures such as posture transitions and gait characteristics were obtained. We developed postural event detection and classification algorithm using denoised signals from single wireless IMU placed at sternum. The algorithm was further validated and verified with motion capture system in laboratory environment. Wavelet denoising highlighted postural events and transition durations that further provided clinical information on postural control and motor coordination. The presented method can be applied in real life ambulatory monitoring approaches for assessing condition of elderly.Biomedical sciences instrumentation 04/2013; 49:224-233.
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ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To determine the nervous activation, muscle strength, and biomechanical parameters that influence the cost of walking in older fallers and non-fallers. METHODS: Maximal voluntary isokinetic torque was measured for the hip, knee and ankle of older women. Oxygen consumption was measured at rest and during 8min of walking at self-selected speed. An additional minute of walking was performed to collect kinematic variables and the electromyographic signal of trunk, hip, knee, and ankle muscles, which was analyzed by the linear envelope. Cost of walking was calculated by subtracting resting body mass-normalized oxygen consumption from walking body mass-normalized oxygen consumption. Stride time and length, and ankle and hip range of motion were calculated from kinematic data. FINDINGS: Older adult fallers had 28% lower knee extensor strength (p=0.02), 47% lower internal oblique activation at heel contact (p=0.03), and higher coactivation between tibialis anterior and gastrocnemius lateralis in each of the gait phases (p<0.05). For fallers, a higher activation of gluteus maximus was associated with a higher cost of walking (r=0.55, p<0.05 and r=0.71, p<0.01, before and after heel contact, respectively). For non-fallers, an association between cost of walking and age (r=0.60, p=0.01) and cost of walking and thigh muscle coactivation (r=0.53, p=0.01) existed. INTERPRETATION: This study demonstrated that there may be links between lower-extremity muscle weakness, muscle activation patterns, altered gait, and increased cost of walking in older fallers.Clinical biomechanics (Bristol, Avon) 02/2013; · 1.76 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study aimed to evaluate the motor response time and ability to develop joint torque at the knee and ankle in older women with and without a history of falls, in addition to investigating the effect of aging on these capacities. We assessed 18 young females, 21 older female fallers and 22 older female non-fallers. The peak torque, rate of torque development, rate of electromyography (EMG) rise, reaction time, premotor time and motor time were obtained through a dynamometric assessment and simultaneous electromyography. Surface EMGs of the rectus femoris (RF), vastus lateralis (VL), biceps femoris (BF), gastrocnemius lateralis (GL) and tibialis anterior (TA) muscles were recorded. Knee extension and flexion peak torques were lower in older fallers than in non-fallers. Knee extension and flexion and ankle plantarflexion and dorsiflexion peak torques were lower in both older groups than in the younger group. The rate of EMG rise of the BF and the motor time of the TA were lower and higher, respectively, in older fallers than in the younger adults. The time to reach peak torque in knee extension/flexion and ankle plantarflexion/dorsiflexion and the motor times of the RF, VL, BF and GL were higher in both older groups than in the younger groups. The motor time of the TA during ankle dorsiflexion and the knee extension peak torque were the major predictors of falls in older women, accounting for approximately 28% of the number of falls. Thus, these results further reveal the biomechanical parameters that affect the risk of falls and provide initial findings to support the prescription of exercises in fall prevention programs.Journal of electromyography and kinesiology: official journal of the International Society of Electrophysiological Kinesiology 06/2013; · 2.00 Impact Factor