Gait analysis in anorexia and bulimia nervosa

Veronica Cimolin, Manuela Galli, Luca Vismara, Sara Laura Vimercati, Helmer Precilios, Laila Cattani, Shirley Fabris De Souza, Maria Letizia Petroni, Paolo Capodaglio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Anorexia (An) and bulimia nervosa (bn) are two common eating disorders, which appear to share some reduced motor capacities, such as a reduced balance. the presence and the extent of other motor disorders have not been investigated in a comprehensive way. the aim of this study was to quantify gait pattern in An and bn individuals in order to ascertain possible differences from the normality range and provide novel data for developing some evidence-based rehabilitation strategies. Methods: nineteen An patients (age 30.16+9.73) and 20 bn patients (age 26.8+8.41) were assessed with quantitative 3d computerized Gait Analysis. results were compared with a group of healthy controls (cG; 30.7+5.6). Results: An and bn patients were characterized by different gait strategies compared to cG. Spatio-temporal parameters indicated shorter step length, with An showing the shortest values. An walked slower than bn and cG. As for kinematics, An and bn showed a nonphysiologic pattern at pelvis and hip level on the sagittal and frontal plane, with bn yielding the most abnormal values. Both AN and BN patients were characterized by high ankle plantar fexion capacity at toe-off when compared to cG. As for ankle kinetics, both An and bn showed physiologic patterns. Stiffness at hip level was close to cG in both pathologic groups; at the ankle level, stiffness was signifcantly decreased in both groups, with AN displaying lower values. Conclusions: both An and bn were characterized by an altered gait pattern compared to cG. biomechanical differences were evident mainly at pelvis and hip level. Loss of lean mass may lead to musculoskeletal adaptation, ultimately causing alterations in the gait pattern.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-128
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Biomaterials and Functional Materials
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Anorexia
  • Biomechanics
  • Bulimia
  • Gait analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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