Why Do Lower Limb-Deficient People Have Difficulty in Downhill Walking?—Kinetics of Downhill Versus Level Walking
Downhill walking is a very important type of movement, especially from a clinical viewpoint, because many patients with lower limb deficiency tend to have difficulty during downhill walking rather than level or uphill walking. The purpose of this study was to compare downhill with level walking from a kinetic viewpoint. A new measurement system for joint kinetics of downhill walking was developed for this purpose. Twelve healthy subjects without lower limb or back musculoskeletal pathology were studied. For downhill walking a slope 6 m in length and with a grade of 19.3% was used. Joint kinetic variables such as joint forces, torque, and power were calculated for ankle, knee, and hip joints over the stance phase by combining anthropometric, kinematic, and ground reaction force data in link-segment model for both downhill and level walking. Peak extension torque and power absorption at the knee joint during the early stance phase were 2.2 times and 5.9 times larger for downhill walking (2.60Nm/kgBW, 7.50W/kgBW) than for level walking (1.16Nm/kgBW, 1.27W/kgBW), respectively.
KeywordsGround Reaction Force Stance Phase Force Platform Level Walking Musculoskeletal Pathology
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