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Influence of Swing-Foot Strike Pattern on Balance Control Mechanisms during Gait Initiation over an Obstacle to Be Cleared

Abstract : Gait initiation (GI) over an obstacle to be cleared is a functional task that is highly challenging for the balance control system. Two swing-foot strike patterns were identified during this task—the rearfoot strike (RFS), where the heel strikes the ground first, and the forefoot strike (FFS), where the toe strikes the ground first. This study investigated the effect of the swing-foot strike pattern on the postural organisation of GI over an obstacle to be cleared. Participants performed a series of obstacle clearance tasks with the instruction to strike the ground with either an FFS or RFS pattern. Results showed that anticipatory postural adjustments in the frontal plane were smaller in FFS than in RFS, while stability was increased in FFS. The vertical braking of the centre of mass (COM) during GI swing phase was attenuated in FFS compared to RFS, leading to greater downward centre of mass velocity at foot contact in FFS. In addition, the collision forces acting on the foot were smaller in FFS than in RFS, as were the slope of these forces and the slope of the C7 vertebra acceleration at foot contact. Overall, these results suggest an interdependent relationship between balance control mechanisms and foot strike pattern for optimal stability control.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03113424
Contributor : Teddy Caderby <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, May 12, 2021 - 10:22:53 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 1, 2021 - 1:02:16 PM

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Romain Artico, Paul Fourcade, Claudine Teyssèdre, Teddy Caderby, Arnaud Delafontaine, et al.. Influence of Swing-Foot Strike Pattern on Balance Control Mechanisms during Gait Initiation over an Obstacle to Be Cleared. Applied Sciences, MDPI, 2020, 10 (1), pp.244. ⟨10.3390/app10010244⟩. ⟨hal-03113424⟩

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