Comparison of pelvic complex kinematics during treadmill and overground walking

Nachiappan Chockalingam, Faye Chatterley, Aoife C Healy, Andrew Greenhalgh, Helen R Branthwaite
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2012, 93 (12): 2302-8

OBJECTIVES: To determine if there are changes in temporal gait parameters with a focus on pelvis when comparing overground and treadmill ambulation, and to assess the effect of sex.

DESIGN: An observational study employing motion analysis techniques to evaluate pelvic movement during gait.

SETTING: University biomechanics laboratory.

PARTICIPANTS: Men (n=8; 22.5±3.0 y) and women (n=6; 23.8±4.1 y).

INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Cadence, stride time, stance phase percent, and pelvic tilt, obliquity, and rotation parameters throughout the gait cycle were assessed during overground and treadmill walking. Kinematic data were recorded using a passive full body marker based motion analysis system. While an independent sample t test was used to determine if differences in walking speed were evident between sexes, a 2-way, repeated-measures analysis of variance was performed to examine the effect of walking mode and sex on each dependent variable.

RESULTS: Significant differences (P<.05) between overground and treadmill walking for the temporal parameters analyzed were evident for both sexes. A lower pelvic obliquity motion for treadmill walking when compared with overground walking was evident for both sexes, and the pelvic rotation movement pattern showed the greatest difference between walking modes. The majority of the significant differences between sexes were of a magnitude greater than the differences between overground and treadmill walking.

CONCLUSIONS: The differences in temporal and angular kinematics identified in the present study should be considered when treadmills are used in a rehabilitation program.

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