The cyclic nature of walking can lead to repetitive stress and associated complications due to the rate of loading (ROL) experienced by the body at the initial contact of the foot with the ground. An individual's gait kinematics at initial contact have been suggested to give rise to the ROL, and a repetitive, high ROL may lead to several disorders, including osteoarthritis. Additionally, proprioception, the feedback signaling of limb position and movement, may play a role in how the foot strikes the ground and thus, the ROL. Our goal was to explore the relationship between proprioception, gait kinematics and ROL. Thirty-eight women were recruited for gait analysis, and the gait characteristics 50ms prior to and at initial contact were examined. Two proprioception tests, joint angle reproduction and threshold to detect passive motion were used to examine the subject's proprioceptive acuity. Our results indicate that individuals with a larger knee angle (i.e., greater extension) 50ms prior to initial contact (IC) experience a higher ROL during gait and have poorer proprioceptive scores. However, it remains unclear whether poor proprioception causes a high ROL or if a high ROL damages the mechanoreceptors involved in proprioception, but the apparent relationship is significant and warrants further investigation.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Musculoskeletal Neuronal Interactions|
|State||Published - Oct 1 2005|
- Ground reaction force
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