Global lower limb muscle coactivation during walking at different speeds: Relationship between spatio-temporal, kinematic, kinetic, and energetic parameters

T. Varrecchia, M. Rinaldi, M. Serrao, F. Draicchio, C. Conte, S. Conforto, M. Schmid, A. Ranavolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Muscle coactivation is the mechanism that regulates the simultaneous activity of antagonist muscles around the same joint. During walking, muscle joint coactivation varies within the gait cycle according to the functional role of the lower limb joints. In the present study, we used a time-varying multi-muscle coactivation function (TMCf) with the aim of investigating the coactivation of 12 lower limb muscles and its relationship with the gait cycle, gait speed (low, self-selected, and fast), ground reaction force, gait variability, and mechanical energy consumption, and recovery in a sample of 20 healthy subjects. Results show that the TMCf is speed dependent and highly repeatable within and between subjects, similar to the vertical force profile, and negatively correlated with energy recovery and positively correlated with both energy consumption and balance-related gait parameters. These findings suggest that the global lower limb coactivation behavior could be a useful measure of the motor control strategy, limb stiffness, postural stability, energy efficiency optimization, and several aspects in pathological conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-157
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Electromyography and Kinesiology
Volume43
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018

Keywords

  • Gait analysis
  • Mechanical energy consumption
  • Muscle coactivation
  • Surface electromyography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Biophysics
  • Clinical Neurology

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