ground reaction force

Stress influences performance: Insights into designing high cognitive load rehab tasks

The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of induced stress on the performance of each task during high cognitive load situations(HCLS). We hypothesized that induced stress leads to performance decrements during HCLS. In this study, the HCLS included standing while completing a secondary task(wire maze). The wire maze was composed of a metal wire path(maze) and a single ring, held in one hand that was moved over the maze without contacting the maze itself. Stress was induced through a loud buzzer when the ring contacted the maze. Participants were asked to randomly stand 1)quietly, or while completing the wire maze 2)with or 3)without the buzzer. Trials were three-minute long. A sample of 18 healthy young participants, (24.76±3.56 years) were randomly recruited. Perceived stress was obtained after each trial. Regularity of ground-reaction-force (GRF) in anterior-posterior and medial-lateral directions as well as wire maze error (ring-to-path contact) were calculated as primary and secondary task performance. GRF was more irregular during quietly standing compared to HCLS with and without the buzzer in both the AP and ML directions(p=0.02, p=0.001, respectively in anterior-posterior,η^2=0.28)&(p=0.004, p<0.0001, respectively in medial-lateral, η^2=0.39). Perceived stress was significantly lower during quietly standing compared to HCLS with(p=0.001, η^2=0.45) and without buzzer(p=0.007) conditions. Overall, the hypothesis was supported partially; during the most stressful HCLS, the high level of perceived stress coincided with less wire maze errors(P<0.0001, d= 0.72). Identifying the strategies underlying task prioritization can help clinicians design appropriate interventions to challenge patients appropriately to improve performance during HCLS.
Listed In: Biomechanical Engineering, Biomechanics, Physical Therapy, Posturography

Influence of Generalized Joint Laxity on Landing Ground Reaction Force in Ballet and Modern Dancers

Generalized joint laxity (GJL) is a condition in which most joints of the body move beyond the accepted normal range of motion. It allows for greater flexibility, which is beneficial to sports such as dance, but can lead to musculoskeletal injuries and decreases in strength. The ability to control landings with strength and stability is key to high level dance performance. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate differences in peak ground reaction force (GRF; vertical, medial-lateral, and anterior-posterior), during landing between dancers with and without GJL. Twenty healthy female volunteers with experience in ballet or modern dance were screened for GJL using the Beighton Scale. 10 subjects with GJL (score of 6 or higher) and 10 without GJL (score of 3 or below) were selected for testing. Subjects performed three forward, unshod, single-leg drop landings from a height of 40 cm onto a portable force plate (Bertec Corporation, OH, USA). Peak GRF for each landing was found and averaged for each subject, and for each group. No significant differences were found in peak GRF in any direction (p=0.71). We believe the similarity in peak forces between groups is due to dancers’ training and technique, as dancers are expected to control and soften their landings. GRF provides information about the load placed on the body, but lacks details related to landing technique. Further research describing 3D landing kinematics, joint moments, and muscle activation is required to determine if different landing techniques exist between dancers with and without GJL.
Listed In: Biomechanics

Impacts of Stifle Joint Remodeling on Vertical Ground Reaction Forces Following MCL Transection and Medial Meniscectomy

Functional demands placed on the human knee’s anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) vary with activity but remain impossible to measure directly in-vivo. Our lab is characterizing these demands in the sheep model by recording in vivo knee kinematics and ACL transducer voltages during activities of daily living (ADLs), reproducing these motions using the instrumented limb, and measuring the 3D forces in the ligament. However, up to 13% of patients sustaining ACL injuries will also sustain dual medial meniscus (MM) injuries and up to 10% will sustain dual medial collateral ligament (MCL) injuries. These structures are frequently left unrepaired, which may alter the ACL’s functional demands, resulting in inadequate ACL reconstruction outcomes for patients with dual injuries. Although these structures have been shown to alter ACL loading in cadaveric studies, the extent to which they impact ACL functionality during in vivo ADLs remains unknown. Moreover, changes in ACL functionality over time due to joint healing and remodeling have yet to be investigated. In this study, we aimed to track stifle joint remodeling in response to surgically imposed MCL transections and medial meniscectomies through monitoring vertical ground reaction forces (VGRFs) for three ADLs over 12 weeks. Results of this study may then be used in conjunction with future robotic studies as a tool to estimate in vivo load requirements for ACL reconstructions in patients with dual injuries.

Listed In: Biomechanical Engineering, Biomechanics, Gait, Orthopedic Research