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The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1757-1146-4-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Reed Ferber and Michael B Pohl contributed equally to this work.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
MBP and RF developed the rationale for the study, designed the study protocol, conducted the data collections, processed the data, and drafted the manuscript. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.
The tibialis posterior muscle is believed to play a key role in controlling foot mechanics during the stance phase of gait. However, an experiment involving localised tibialis posterior muscle fatigue, and analysis of discrete rearfoot and forefoot kinematic variables, indicated that reduced force output of the tibialis posterior muscle did not alter rearfoot and forefoot motion during gait. Thus, to better understand how muscle fatigue affects foot kinematics and injury potential, the purpose of this study was to reanalyze the data and investigate shank, rearfoot and forefoot joint coupling and coupling variability during walking.
Twenty-nine participants underwent an exercise fatigue protocol aimed at reducing the force output of tibialis posterior. An eight camera motion analysis system was used to evaluate 3 D shank and foot joint coupling and coupling variability during treadmill walking both pre- and post-fatigue.
The fatigue protocol was successful in reducing the maximal isometric force by over 30% and a concomitant increase in coupling motion of the shank in the transverse plane and forefoot in the sagittal and transverse planes relative to frontal plane motion of the rearfoot. In addition, an increase in joint coupling variability was measured between the shank and rearfoot and between the rearfoot and forefoot during the fatigue condition.
The reduced function of the tibialis posterior muscle following fatigue resulted in a disruption in typical shank and foot joint coupling patterns and an increased variability in joint coupling. These results could help explain tibialis posterior injury aetiology.
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- Changes in joint coupling and variability during walking following tibialis posterior muscle fatigue
Michael B Pohl
- BioMed Central