The influence of artificially increased trunk stiffness on the balance recovery after a trip

J C E van der Burg, M Pijnappels, J H van Dieën
Gait & Posture 2007, 26 (2): 272-8
Falls occur frequently in the growing population of elderly. Since trunk control is critical for maintaining balance, the higher trunk stiffness in elderly people compared to the general population has been associated with their increased fall-risk. Theoretically, trunk stiffness may be beneficial for balance recovery in walking, i.e. after a trip. A stiff joint may provide a torque that restricts the perturbation effects and thereby reduces the probability of a fall. The aim of this study was to test whether trunk stiffness impaired or assisted balance recovery after a trip during walking. An orthopedic corset was used to simulate trunk stiffness in 11 young male adults. Subjects walked over a platform, with or without the corset on, and were occasionally tripped over a hidden obstacle. Kinematics of the tripping reaction were measured. Initial trunk accelerations were significantly attenuated by the corset, which indicates a positive effect of the stiffening corset. However, no subsequent effects on peak trunk inclination and on the peak moment arm of gravity on the trunk were found. The pattern of trunk motion allowed ample time for triggered or voluntary muscle responses to be generated, before a substantial inclination occurred. It appears that such active responses were sufficient in the young subjects tested to obtain a similar net effect with or without the increased trunk stiffness induced by the corset.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"