Article

Muscular responses and movement strategies during stumbling over obstacles

Department of Medical Physics and Biophysics, University of Nijmegen, 6525 EZ Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Journal of Neurophysiology (Impact Factor: 3.3). 05/2000;
Source: OAI

ABSTRACT Although many studies have investigated reflexes after stimulation of either cutaneous or proprioceptive afferents, much less is known about responses after more natural perturbations, such as stumbling over an obstacle. In particular, the phase dependency of these responses and their relation to the stumbling behavior has received little attention. Hence response strategies during stumbling reactions after perturbations at different times in the swing phase of gait were studied. While subjects walked on a treadmill, a rigid obstacle unexpectedly obstructed the forward sway of the foot. All subjects showed an "elevating strategy" after early swing perturbations and a "lowering strategy" after late swing perturbations. During the elevating strategy, the foot was directly lifted over the obstacle through extra knee flexion assisted by ipsilateral biceps femoris (iBF) responses and ankle dorsiflexion assisted by tibialis anterior (iTA) responses. Later, large rectus femoris (iRF) activations induced knee extension to place the foot on the treadmill. During the lowering strategy, the foot was quickly placed on the treadmill and was lifted over the obstacle in the subsequent swing. Foot placement was actively controlled by iRF and iBF responses related to knee extension and deceleration of the forward sway. Activations of iTA mostly preceded the main ipsilateral soleus (iSO) responses. For both strategies, four response peaks could be distinguished with latencies of approximately 40 ms (RP1), approximately 75 ms (RP2), approximately 110 ms (RP3), and approximately 160 ms (RP4). The amplitudes of these response peaks depended on the phase in the step cycle. The phase-dependent modulation of the responses could not be accounted for by differences in stimulation or in background activity and therefore is assumed to be premotoneuronal in origin. In mid swing, both the elevating and lowering strategy could occur. For this phase, the responses of the two strategies could be compared in the absence of phase-dependent response modulation. Both strategies had the same initial electromyographic responses till approximately 100 ms (RP1-RP2) after perturbation. The earliest response (RP1) is assumed to be a short-latency stretch reflex evoked by the considerable impact of the collision, whereas the second (RP2) has features reminiscent of cutaneous and proprioceptive responses. Both these responses did not determine the behavioral response strategy. The functionally important response strategies depended on later responses (RP3-RP4). These data suggest that during stumbling reactions, as a first line of defense, the CNS releases a relatively aspecific response, which is followed by an appropriate behavioral response to avoid the obstacle.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
44 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Falls are common in older adults. The most common cause of falls is tripping while walking. Simulation studies demonstrated that older adults may be restricted by lower limb strength and movement speed to regain balance after a trip. This review examines how modeling approaches can be used to determine how different measures predict actual fall risk and what some of the causal mechanisms of fall risk are. Although increased gait variability predicts increased fall risk experimentally, it is not clear which variability measures could best be used, or what magnitude of change corresponded with increased fall risk. With a simulation study we showed that the increase in fall risk with a certain increase in gait variability was greatly influenced by the initial level of variability. Gait variability can therefore not easily be used to predict fall risk. We therefore explored other measures that may be related to fall risk and investigated the relationship between stability measures such as Floquet multipliers and local divergence exponents and actual fall risk in a dynamic walking model. We demonstrated that short-term local divergence exponents were a good early predictor for fall risk. Neuronal noise increases with age. It has however not been fully understood if increased neuronal noise would cause an increased fall risk. With our dynamic walking model we showed that increased neuronal noise caused increased fall risk. Although people who are at increased risk of falling reduce their walking speed it had been questioned whether this slower speed would actually cause a reduced fall risk. With our model we demonstrated that a reduced walking speed caused a reduction in fall risk. This may be due to the decreased kinematic variability as a result of the reduced signal-dependent noise of the smaller muscle forces that are required for slower. These insights may be used in the development of fall prevention programs in order to better identify those at increased risk of falling and to target those factors that influence fall risk most.
    Human movement science 10/2013; · 2.15 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Dynamic imbalance caused by external perturbations to gait can successfully be counteracted by adequate recovery responses. The current study investigated how the recovery response is moderated by age, walking speed, muscle strength and speed of information processing. The gait pattern of 50 young and 45 elderly subjects was repeatedly perturbed at 20% and 80% of the first half of the swing phase using the Timed Rapid impact Perturbation (TRiP) set-up. Recovery responses were identified using 2D cameras. Muscular factors (dynamometer) and speed of information processing parameters (computer-based reaction time task) were determined. The stronger, faster reacting and faster walking young subjects recovered more often by an elevating strategy than elderly subjects. Twenty three per cent of the differences in recovery responses were explained by a combination of walking speed (B=-13.85), reaction time (B=-0.82), maximum extension strength (B=0.01) and rate of extension moment development (B=0.19). The recovery response that subjects employed when gait was perturbed by the TRiP set-up was modified by several factors; the individual contribution of walking speed, muscle strength and speed of information processing was small. Insight into remaining modifying factors is needed to assist and optimise fall prevention programmes.
    Gait & posture 09/2013; · 2.58 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the test-retest, intra-rater reliability and agreement of compensatory stepping thresholds. A protocol was developed to establish anteroposterior single-stepping thresholds, anteroposterior multiple-stepping thresholds, and lateral single-stepping thresholds. Healthy, young subjects stood on a microprocessor-controlled treadmill, and responded to three series of progressively challenging surface translations. Subjects were instructed to "try not to step" when establishing single-stepping thresholds or "try to take only one step" when establishing multiple-stepping thresholds. Stepping thresholds were defined as the minimum disturbance magnitude that consistently elicited a single or second compensatory step. Thresholds were expressed as the ankle torque necessary to maintain upright posture. Thresholds studied included anterior single-stepping thresholds (τ=273.0±82.3Nm), posterior single-stepping, thresholds (τ=235.5±98.0Nm), anterior multiple-stepping thresholds (τ=977.0±416.3Nm), posterior multiple-stepping thresholds (τ=701.9±237.5Nm), stability-side lateral single-stepping thresholds (τ=225.7±77.7Nm), and mobility-side lateral single-stepping thresholds (τ=236.8± 85.4Nm). Based on intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) and Bland-Altman plots, all thresholds demonstrated excellent reliability (ICC(2,1)=0.87-0.97) and agreement. These results suggest that compensatory stepping thresholds have sufficient repeatability to be used in clinical and research-related assessments of fall-risk. Additional study is needed to determine the intra- and inter-rater reliabilities and validity of thresholds specific to the patient populations of interest.
    Gait & posture 11/2013; · 2.58 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

View
15 Downloads
Available from
May 28, 2014