Multiple Sclerosis Alters the Mechanical Work Performed on the Body’s Center of Mass During Gait

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) have less-coordinated movements of the center of mass resulting in greater mechanical work. The purpose of this study was to quantify the work performed on the body’s center of mass by patients with MS. It was hypothesized that patients with MS would perform greater negative work during initial double support and less positive work in terminal double support. Results revealed that patients with MS perform less negative work in single support and early terminal double support and less positive work in the terminal double support period. However, summed over the entire stance phase, patients with MS and healthy controls performed similar amounts of positive and negative work on the body’s center of mass. The altered work throughout different periods in the stance phase may be indicative of a failure to capitalize on passive elastic energy mechanisms and increased reliance upon more active work generation to sustain gait.

Shane R. Wurdeman is with the Nebraska Biomechanics Core Facility, University of Nebraska at Omaha, and with the College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE. Jessie M. Huisinga is with the Balance Disorders Laboratory, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR. Mary Filipi is with the College of Nursing, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE. Nicholas Stergiou (Corresponding Author) is with the Nebraska Biomechanics Core Facility, University of Nebraska at Omaha, and with the College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE