Riley, Patrick O. and Della Croce, Ugo and Kerrigan, D. Casey (2001) Propulsive adaptation to changing gait speed. Journal of Biomechanics, Vol. 34 (2), p. 197-202. eISSN 1873-2380. Article.
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Understanding propulsion and adaptation to speed requirements is important in determining appropriate therapies for gait disorders. We hypothesize that adaptations for changing speed requirements occur primarily at the hip. The slow, normal and fast gait of 24 healthy young subjects was analyzed. The linear power was analyzed at the hip joint. The anterior-posterior and vertical induced accelerations of the hip were also determined. Linear power and anterior-posterior-induced acceleration (IA) analyses of the hip reveal that the lower limb joint's moments contribute to body forward propulsion primarily during late swing and early stance. Propulsive adaptations to speed changes occur primarily at the hip and secondarily at the ankle. These analyses show that hip muscles, particularly the hip extensors, are critical to propulsion. They also show that ankle function is primarily for support, but is important to propulsion, especially at slow speeds.
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