Previous studies on cats walking backward have indicated that they adopt a presumably adaptive posture characterized by extreme dorsiflexion of the lumbar spine. Because humans do not show any marked postural changes during backward walking, we questioned whether the posture exhibited by cats during backward walking was in fact adaptive and whether it was typical of quadrupeds. We therefore compared forward and backward walking in three treadmill-trained dogs and found reduced temporal parameters during backward walking and a marked reduction in wrist palmarflexion during the swing phase of a backward step, but no change in trunk posture. We suggest that the aberrant posture exhibited by cats during backward walking is more related to ethological factors than to biomechanical ones. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine