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Biomed Eng Online. 2019 Aug 22;18(1):89. doi: 10.1186/s12938-019-0708-4.

Lower limb joint motion and muscle force in treadmill and over-ground exercise.

Yao J1,2, Guo N3, Xiao Y1,2, Li Z4, Li Y4, Pu F5,6, Fan Y7,8,9.

Author information

1
Key Laboratory for Biomechanics and Mechanobiology of Ministry of Education, School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing, 100083, People's Republic of China.
2
Beijing Advanced Innovation Centre for Biomedical Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing, 100083, People's Republic of China.
3
Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 999077, People's Republic of China.
4
State Key Laboratory of Space Medicine Fundamentals and Application, China Astronaut Research and Training Center, Beijing, 100094, People's Republic of China.
5
Key Laboratory for Biomechanics and Mechanobiology of Ministry of Education, School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing, 100083, People's Republic of China. pufangbme@buaa.edu.cn.
6
Beijing Advanced Innovation Centre for Biomedical Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing, 100083, People's Republic of China. pufangbme@buaa.edu.cn.
7
Key Laboratory for Biomechanics and Mechanobiology of Ministry of Education, School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing, 100083, People's Republic of China. yubofan@buaa.edu.cn.
8
Beijing Advanced Innovation Centre for Biomedical Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing, 100083, People's Republic of China. yubofan@buaa.edu.cn.
9
National Research Center for Rehabilitation Technical Aids, Beijing, 100176, People's Republic of China. yubofan@buaa.edu.cn.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Treadmill exercise is commonly used as an alternative to over-ground walking or running. Increasing evidence indicated the kinetics of treadmill exercise is different from that of over-ground. Biomechanics of treadmill or over-ground exercises have been investigated in terms of energy consumption, ground reaction force, and surface EMG signals. These indexes cannot accurately characterize the musculoskeletal loading, which directly contributes to tissue injuries. This study aimed to quantify the differences of lower limb joint angles and muscle forces in treadmills and over-ground exercises. 10 healthy volunteers were required to walk at 100 and 120 steps/min and run at 140 and 160 steps/min on treadmill and ground. The joint flexion angles were obtained from the motion capture experiments and were used to calculate the muscle forces with an inverse dynamic method.

RESULTS:

Hip, knee, and ankle joint motions of treadmill and over-ground conditions were similar in walking, yet different in running. Compared with over-ground running, joint motion ranges in treadmill running were smaller. They were also less affected by stride frequency. Maximum Gastrocnemius force was greater in treadmill walking, yet maximum Rectus femoris and Vastus forces were smaller. Maximum Gastrocnemius and Soleus forces were greater in treadmill running.

CONCLUSIONS:

Treadmill exercise results in smoother joint kinematics. In terms of muscle force, treadmill exercise requires lower loading on knee extensor, yet higher loading on plantar flexor, especially on Gastrocnemius. The findings and the methodology can provide the basis for rehabilitation therapy customization and sophistic treadmill design.

KEYWORDS:

Motion capture; Muscle force; Over-ground; Stride frequency; Treadmill

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