The study was designed to assess the co-contractions of tibialis anterior (TA) and gastrocnemius lateralis (GL) in healthy young adults during gait at self-selected speed and cadence, in terms of variability of onset–offset muscular activation and occurrence frequency. Statistical gait analysis (SGA), a recent methodology performing a statistical characterization of gait by averaging spatio-temporal and EMG-based parameters over numerous strides, was performed in twenty-four healthy young adults. Co-contractions were assessed as the period of overlap between activation intervals of TA and GL. Results showed that GL and TA act as pure agonist/antagonists for ankle plantar/dorsiflexion (no co-contractions) in only 21.3 ± 8.2% of strides. In the remaining strides, statistically significant (p < 0.05) co-contractions appear in early stance (29.2 ± 1.7%), mid-stance (32.1 ± 18.3%) and swing (62.2 ± 2.0%). This significantly increased complexity in muscle recruitment strategy beyond the activation as pure ankle plantar/dorsiflexors, suggests that cocontractions are likely functional to further physiological tasks as foot inversion, balance improvement, control of ankle stability and knee flexion. This study represents the first attempt for the development in healthy young adults of a ‘‘normality’’ reference frame for GL/TA co-contractions, able to include the physiological variability of the phenomenon and eliminate the confounding effect of age.

Assessment of the ankle muscle co-contraction during normal gait: A surface electromyography study

DI NARDO, Francesco;MENGARELLI, ALESSANDRO;MARANESI, ELVIRA;BURATTINI, LAURA;FIORETTI, Sandro
2015-01-01

Abstract

The study was designed to assess the co-contractions of tibialis anterior (TA) and gastrocnemius lateralis (GL) in healthy young adults during gait at self-selected speed and cadence, in terms of variability of onset–offset muscular activation and occurrence frequency. Statistical gait analysis (SGA), a recent methodology performing a statistical characterization of gait by averaging spatio-temporal and EMG-based parameters over numerous strides, was performed in twenty-four healthy young adults. Co-contractions were assessed as the period of overlap between activation intervals of TA and GL. Results showed that GL and TA act as pure agonist/antagonists for ankle plantar/dorsiflexion (no co-contractions) in only 21.3 ± 8.2% of strides. In the remaining strides, statistically significant (p < 0.05) co-contractions appear in early stance (29.2 ± 1.7%), mid-stance (32.1 ± 18.3%) and swing (62.2 ± 2.0%). This significantly increased complexity in muscle recruitment strategy beyond the activation as pure ankle plantar/dorsiflexors, suggests that cocontractions are likely functional to further physiological tasks as foot inversion, balance improvement, control of ankle stability and knee flexion. This study represents the first attempt for the development in healthy young adults of a ‘‘normality’’ reference frame for GL/TA co-contractions, able to include the physiological variability of the phenomenon and eliminate the confounding effect of age.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11566/205328
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