Limping on split-belt treadmills implies opposite kinematic and dynamic lower limb asymmetries

Luigi Tesio, Chiara Malloggi, Calogero Malfitano, Carlo A. Coccetta, Luigi Catino, Viviana Rota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Walking on a split-belt treadmill (each of the two belts running at a different speed) has been proposed as an experimental paradigm to investigate the flexibility of the neural control of gait and as a form of therapeutic exercise. However, the scarcity of dynamic investigations challenges the validity of the available findings. The aim of the present study was to investigate the dynamic asymmetries of lower limbs of healthy adults during adaptation to gait on a splitbelt treadmill. Ten healthy adults walked on a split-belt treadmill mounted on force sensors, with belts running either at the same speed ('tied' condition) or at different speeds ('split' condition, 0.4 vs. 0.8 or 0.8 vs. 1.2 m/s). The sagittal power and work provided by ankle, knee and hip joints, joint rotations, muscle lengthening, and surface electromyography were recorded simultaneously. Various tied/split walking sequences were requested. In the split condition a marked asymmetry between the parameters recorded from each of the two lower limbs, in particular from the ankle joint, was recorded. The work provided by the ankle (the main engine of body propulsion) was 4.8 and 2.2 times higher (in the 0.4 vs. 0.8, and 0.8 vs. 1.2 m/s conditions, respectively) compared with the slower side, and 1.2 and 1.1 times higher compared with the same speed in the tied condition. Compared with overground gait in hemiplegia, split gait entails an opposite spatial and dynamic asymmetry. The faster leg mimics the paretic limb temporally, but the unimpaired limb from the spatial and dynamic point of view. These differences challenge the proposed protocols of split gait as forms of therapeutic exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-315
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Rehabilitation Research
Volume41
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018

Fingerprint

Gait
Biomechanical Phenomena
Lower Extremity
Ankle Joint
Running
Walking
Extremities
Exercise
Hemiplegia
Hip Joint
Electromyography
Knee Joint
Ankle
Leg
Joints
Muscles
Therapeutics

Keywords

  • asymmetry
  • gait
  • joint power
  • muscle work
  • rehabilitation
  • split-belt treadmill

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

Cite this

Limping on split-belt treadmills implies opposite kinematic and dynamic lower limb asymmetries. / Tesio, Luigi; Malloggi, Chiara; Malfitano, Calogero; Coccetta, Carlo A.; Catino, Luigi; Rota, Viviana.

In: International Journal of Rehabilitation Research, Vol. 41, No. 4, 01.12.2018, p. 304-315.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Tesio, Luigi ; Malloggi, Chiara ; Malfitano, Calogero ; Coccetta, Carlo A. ; Catino, Luigi ; Rota, Viviana. / Limping on split-belt treadmills implies opposite kinematic and dynamic lower limb asymmetries. In: International Journal of Rehabilitation Research. 2018 ; Vol. 41, No. 4. pp. 304-315.
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