Evaluation of the influence of muscle deactivation on other muscles and joints during gait motion

Taku Komura, Przemyslaw Prokopow, Akinori Nagano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When any muscle in the human musculoskeletal system is damaged, other muscles and ligaments tend to compensate for the role of the damaged muscle by exerting extra effort. It is beneficial to clarify how the roles of the damaged muscles are compensated by other parts of the musculoskeletal system from the following points of view: From a clinical point of view, it will be possible to know how the abnormal muscle and joint forces caused by the acute compensations lead to further physical damage to the musculoskeletal system. From the viewpoint of rehabilitation, it will be possible to know how the role of the damaged muscle can be compensated by extra training of the other muscles. A method to evaluate the influence of muscle deactivation on other muscles and joints is proposed in this report. Methodology based on inverse dynamics and static optimization, which is applicable to arbitrary motion was used in this study. The evaluation method was applied to gait motion to obtain matrices representing (1) the dependence of muscle force compensation and (2) the change to bone-on-bone contact forces. These matrices make it possible to evaluate the effects of deactivation of one of the muscles of the musculoskeletal system on the forces exerted by other muscles as well as the change to the bone-on-bone forces when the musculoskeletal system is performing the same motion. Through observation of this matrix, it was found that deactivation of a muscle often results in increment/decrement of force developed by muscles with completely different primary functions and bone-on-bone contact force in different parts of the body. For example, deactivation of the iliopsoas leads to a large reduction in force by the soleus. The results suggest that acute deactivation of a muscle can result in damage to another part of the body. The results also suggest that the whole musculoskeletal system must go through extra retraining in the case of damage to certain muscles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425 - 436
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2004


  • Deactivation


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