Effects of noxious stimulation to the back or calf muscles on gait stability

van den Hoorn, Wolbert, Hug, Francois, Hodges, Paul W., Bruijn, Sjoerd M. and van Dieen, Jaap H. (2015) Effects of noxious stimulation to the back or calf muscles on gait stability. Journal of Biomechanics, 48 15: 4109-4115. doi:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2015.10.013

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Author van den Hoorn, Wolbert
Hug, Francois
Hodges, Paul W.
Bruijn, Sjoerd M.
van Dieen, Jaap H.
Title Effects of noxious stimulation to the back or calf muscles on gait stability
Journal name Journal of Biomechanics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1873-2380
Publication date 2015-11-26
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2015.10.013
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 48
Issue 15
Start page 4109
End page 4115
Total pages 7
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon Press
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Gait stability is the ability to deal with small perturbations that naturally occur during walking. Changes in motor control caused by pain could affect this ability. This study investigated whether nociceptive stimulation (hypertonic saline injection) in a low back (LBP) or calf (CalfP) muscle affects gait stability. Sixteen participants walked on a treadmill at 0.94 ms−1 and 1.67 ms−1, while thorax kinematics were recorded using 3D-motion capture. From 110 strides, stability (local divergence exponent, LDE), stride-to-stride variability and root mean squares (RMS) of thorax linear velocities were calculated along the three movement axes. At 0.94 ms−1, independent of movement axes, gait stability was lower (higher LDE) and stride-to-stride variability was higher, during LBP and CalfP than no pain. This was more pronounced during CalfP, likely explained by the biomechanical function of calf muscles in gait, as supported by greater mediolateral RMS and stance time asymmetry than in LBP and no pain. At 1.67 ms−1, independent of movement axes, gait stability was greater and stride-to-stride variability was smaller with LBP than no pain and CalfP, whereas CalfP was not different from no pain. Opposite effects of LBP on gait stability between speeds suggests a more protective strategy at the faster speed. Although mediolateral RMS was greater and participants had more asymmetric stance times with CalfP than LBP and no pain, limited effect of CalfP at the faster speed could relate to greater kinematic constraints and smaller effects of calf muscle activity on propulsion at this speed. In conclusion, pain effects on gait stability depend on pain location and walking speed.
Keyword Experimental pain
Movement variability
Lyapunov exponent
Local divergence exponent
Low back pain
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: UQ Centre for Clinical Research Publications
Official 2016 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 1 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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