Lower-Extremity Intra-Joint Coordination and Its Variability between Fallers and Non-Fallers during Gait

Hassan Sadeghi, Seyed Sadredin Shojaedin, Ali Abbasi, Elham Alijanpour, Marcus Fraga Vieira, Zdeněk Svoboda, Kianoush Nazarpour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Falling is one of the most common causes of hip fracture and death in older adults. A comparison of the biomechanics of the gait in fallers and non-fallers older adults, especially joint coordination and coordination variability, enables the understanding of mechanisms that underpin falling. Therefore, we compared lower-extremity intra-joint coordination and its variability between fallers and non-fallers older adults during gait. A total of 26 older adults, comprising 13 fallers, took part in this study. The participants walked barefoot at a self-selected speed on a 10-m walkway. Gait kinematics in the dominant leg during 10 cycles were captured with 10 motion tracking cameras at a sampling rate of 100 Hz. Spatiotemporal gait parameters, namely, cadence, walking speed, double support time, stride time, width, and length, as well as intra-joint coordination and coordination variability in the sagittal plane were compared between the two groups. Results showed that fallers walked with significant lower cadence, walking speed, and stride length but greater double support and stride time than non-fallers. Significant differences in the ankle-to-knee, knee-to-hip, and ankle-to-hip coordination patterns between fallers and non-fallers and less coordination variability in fallers compared to non-fallers in some instants of the gait cycles were observed. The differences in spatiotemporal gait parameters in fallers compared to non-fallers may indicate an adaptation resulting from decreased efficiency to decrease the risk of falling. Moreover, the differences in segment coordination and its variability may indicate an inconsistency in neuromuscular control. It may also indicate reduced ability to control the motion of the leg in preparation for foot contact with the ground and the knee and ankle motions during loading response. Finally, such differences may show less control in generating power during the push-off phase in fallers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2840
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Sciences
Volume11
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • elderly faller
  • non-faller
  • coordination
  • coordination variability
  • gait

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