Effect of acute noxious stimulation to the leg or back on muscle synergies during walking

van den Hoorn, Wolbert, Hodges, Paul W., van Dieen, Jaap H. and Hug, Francois (2015) Effect of acute noxious stimulation to the leg or back on muscle synergies during walking. Journal of Neurophysiology, 113 1: 244-254. doi:10.1152/jn.00557.2014

Author van den Hoorn, Wolbert
Hodges, Paul W.
van Dieen, Jaap H.
Hug, Francois
Title Effect of acute noxious stimulation to the leg or back on muscle synergies during walking
Journal name Journal of Neurophysiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1522-1598
Publication date 2015-01-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1152/jn.00557.2014
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 113
Issue 1
Start page 244
End page 254
Total pages 11
Place of publication Bethesda, MD United States
Publisher American Physiological Society
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Abstract This study aimed to examine how acute muscle pain affects muscle coordination during gait with consideration of muscle synergies (i.e., group of muscles activated in synchrony), amplitude of muscle activity and kinematics. A secondary aim was to determine whether any adaptation was specific to pain location. Sixteen participants walked on a treadmill during 5 conditions [control, low back pain (LBP), washout LBP, calf pain (CalfP), and washout CalfP]. Five muscle synergies were identified for all of the conditions. Cross-validation analysis showed that muscle synergy vectors extracted for the control condition accounted for >81% of variance accounted for from the other conditions. Muscle synergies were altered very little in some participants (n = 7 for LBP; n = 10 for CalfP), but were more affected in the others (n = 9 for LBP; n = 6 for CalfP). No systematic differences between pain locations were observed. Considering all participants, synergies related to propulsion and weight acceptance were largely unaffected by pain, whereas synergies related to other functions (trunk control and leg deceleration) were more affected. Gastrocnemii activity was less during both CalfP and LBP than control. Soleus activity was further reduced during CalfP, and this was associated with reduced plantar flexion. Some lower leg muscles exhibited adaptations depending on pain location (e.g., greater vastus lateralis and rectus femoris activity during CalfP than LBP). Overall, these changes in muscle coordination involve a participant-specific strategy that is important to further explore, as it may explain why some people are more likely to develop persistence of a painful condition.
Keyword Motor modules
Experimental pain
Muscle coordination
Nonnegative matrix factorization
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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