Explanations Pertaining to the Hip Joint Flexor Moment During the Stance Phase of Human Walking

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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A hip joint flexor moment in the last half of the stance phase during walking has repeatedly been reported. However, the purpose of this moment remains uncertain and it is unknown how it is generated. Nine male subjects were instructed to walk at 4.5 km/h with their upper body in three different positions: normal, inclined and reclined. Net joint moments were calculated about the hip, knee and ankle joint. The peak hip joint flexor moment during late stance was significantly lower during inclined walking than in the two other conditions. During normal walking the iliacus muscle showed no or very weak activity and first at the transition from stance to swing. When walking reclined, a clear but rather low activity level of the iliacus muscle was seen in the first half of the stance phase, which could contribute to the hip moment. In the inclined condition the iliacus showed much increased activity but only in the swing phase. It is concluded that the hip flexor moment in question is largely generated by passive structures in the form of ligaments resisting hip joint extension.

Erik B. Simonsen (Corresponding Author), Katrine L. Cappelen, Ragnhild í Skorini, and Tine Alkjær are with Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark. Poul Dyhre-Poulsen, now deceased, was also with the Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark. Peter K. Larsen is with the Laboratory of Biological Anthropology, Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.