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Gait Posture. 2016 Jun;47:62-7. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2016.03.022. Epub 2016 Apr 20.

Effect of sloped walking on lower limb muscle forces.

Author information

1
Department of Sport Science and Kinesiology, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria. Electronic address: nathalie.alexander@sbg.ac.at.
2
Department of Sport Science and Kinesiology, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria. Electronic address: hermann.schwameder@sbg.ac.at.

Abstract

Lower limb joint loadings are increased during sloped walking compared to level walking and muscle forces are major contributors to lower limb joint forces. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyze lower limb muscle forces during sloped walking at different inclinations. Eighteen healthy male participants (27.0±4.7y, 1.80±0.05m, 74.5±8.2kg) walked at a pre-set speed of 1.1m/s on a ramp at the inclinations of 0°, ±6°, ±12° and ±18°. Kinematic data were captured with a motion capture system and kinetic data were recorded with two force plates imbedded into the ramp. A musculoskeletal model was used to compute lower limb muscle forces (normalized to body weight and gait cycle duration). During downhill walking gluteus maximus, quadriceps, soleus, peroneus and tibialis anterior muscle forces increased (p≤0.002) compared to level walking, while gluteus minimus, piriformis, adductor, iliopsoas, hamstrings and gastrocnemii muscle forces decreased (p≤0.002). Uphill walking decreased gluteus minimus, iliopsoas and tibialis anterior muscle forces (p≤0.002), while all other muscle forces increased (p≤0.002, except gluteus medius). Joint-muscle-force waveforms provided information on possible muscle contributions to joint compression forces. The most important muscles were: gluteus medius for hip forces, quadriceps and gastrocnemii for tibiofemoral forces, quadriceps for patellofemoral forces and triceps surae for ankle forces. The contribution of each muscle changed with the inclination during sloped walking compared to level walking. The current study provided important information on muscle forces during sloped walking that can be useful for rehabilitation and training procedures.

KEYWORDS:

Downhill walking; Joint forces; Musculoskeletal modelling; Uphill walking

PMID:
27264405
DOI:
10.1016/j.gaitpost.2016.03.022
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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