University of Twente Student Theses


Reactive Balance Recovery during Perturbed Walking in Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury Patients

Oosterling, D. (2024) Reactive Balance Recovery during Perturbed Walking in Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury Patients.

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Abstract:Introduction: The incomplete spinal cord injury patient group experiences many falls each year. Previous research indicates that these frequent falls are caused by an impaired reactive balance strategy. However, there is a lack of research into the reactive balance strategy in the iSCI patient group. The goal of this research is to study the reactive balance control responses of individuals with iSCI compared to age- and gender-matched participants via characterizing muscle activity responses after unexpected pushes. Methods: The reactive balance strategies of iSCI participants were assessed using linear push and pull perturbations at the pelvis in anteroposterior and mediolateral direction during treadmill walking at comfortable walking speed. Five iSCI participants and five age- and gender-matched able-bodied participants were included. The muscle onset, muscle effort, Center of Mass (COM) velocity and the effort-COM velocity relation were assessed. Discussion and Conclusion: On the contrary to the expectations, the COM velocity was not more affected for iSCI participants. One of the iSCI participants exhibited delayed muscle onset relative to controls for the m. Soleus and the m. Gastrocnemius Medialis onset in the stance leg after a push forward at left toe-off, but no clear delayed onset was found for other conditions. For the muscle effort, the iSCI participants showed a weaker modulation for the effort of the m. Rectus Femoris and the m. Biceps Femoris over increasing perturbation magnitude and increasing COM velocity. A limitation of this study is the small participant population. Therefore the results of this research can not be translated as a conclusion for the whole iSCI population.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:TNW: Science and Technology
Subject:44 medicine, 50 technical science in general
Programme:Biomedical Engineering MSc (66226)
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