Studies in the mechanics of synovial joints
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The magnitude and directions of the muscular forces stabilising a single joint are investigated in the light of the theorem that the transarticular force is equal to the load so stabilised.
It is shown that the resultant of the muscular forces acts at the centre of gravity and is inclined to the stabilised part at an angle which is half that of the deviation of the part from the pendent position.
It is further shown that the magnitude and directions of the muscular forces follow from the postulate that the resultant of these forces has a minimal value.
Finally it is shown that the muscular component of the transarticular force is quantitatively related to the work done against gravity by the total musculature, this relationship being linear ; and that the muscles concerned—the “shunt” muscles—act as as ergometric and goniometric gauges for the central nervous system.
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