Send to

Choose Destination
J Biomech. 2014 Jan 3;47(1):277-80. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2013.10.035. Epub 2013 Nov 8.

Method for evoking a trip-like response using a treadmill-based perturbation during locomotion.

Author information

Naval Health Research Center, San Diego, CA 92106-3521, USA.
Naval Medical Center San Diego, CA 92134, USA.
University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.
Mayo Clinic, Motion Analysis Laboratory, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA. Electronic address:


Because trip-related falls account for a significant proportion of falls by patients with amputations and older adults, the ability to repeatedly and reliably simulate a trip or evoke a trip-like response in a laboratory setting has potential utility as a tool to assess trip-related fall risk and as a training tool to reduce fall risk. This paper describes a treadmill-based method for delivering postural perturbations during locomotion to evoke a trip-like response and serve as a surrogate for an overground trip. Subjects walked at a normalized velocity in a Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CAREN). During single-limb stance, the treadmill belt speed was rapidly changed, thereby requiring the subject to perform a compensatory stepping response to avoid falling. Peak trunk flexion angle and peak trunk flexion velocity during the initial compensatory step following the perturbation were smaller for responses associated with recoveries compared to those associated with falls. These key fall prediction variables were consistent with the outcomes observed for laboratory-induced trips of older adults. This perturbation technique also demonstrated that this method of repeated but randomly delivered perturbations can evoke consistent, within-subject responses.


Accidental falls; Amputee; CAREN; Gait; Perturbation; Treadmill test; Virtual reality

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center