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J Biomech. 2001 Nov;34(11):1399-406.

Moment dependency of the series elastic stiffness in the human plantar flexors measured in vivo.

Author information

1
Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction, Aalborg University, Fredrik Bajers Vej 7-D3, 9220 Aalborg, Denmark. mdz@ime.auc.dk

Abstract

The moment dependency of the series elastic stiffness (SES) in the human plantar flexors was investigated in vivo with the quick release method. At an ankle moment of 100 N m produced with either voluntary or electrical stimulation we found non-significantly different SES of 506+/-72 and 529+/-125 N m rad(-1), respectively. It has recently been proposed that the amount of series elastic tissue involved in plantar flexion changes with the moment level produced by the plantar flexors (Hof, J. Biomech 31 (1998) 793). However, our results indicate that the amount of series elastic tissue involved in plantar flexions remained constant with changing moment levels. We therefore propose that the series elastic component (SEC) in human plantar flexors act as one structure or rather one combination of anatomical structures which is engaged at all muscle activation levels, and that the mechanical properties (i.e. the stress-strain function) are determined by the combined tissue mechanical properties. Additionally, our results demonstrated that the SES in the human plantar flexors at moments levels up to about isometric maximum did not reach an asymptote where the stiffness is independent of moment, i.e. SEC of the plantar flexors is, during many daily activities, loaded for the greatest part in the non-linear part of the stress-strain function.

PMID:
11672714
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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