Associations Between Bipedal Stance Stability and Locomotor Stability Following a Trip in Unilateral Vestibulopathy

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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  • 1 Maastricht University Medical Centre+
  • 2 German Sport University Cologne
  • 3 Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf
  • 4 London South Bank University
  • 5 University of Cologne
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Posturography is used to assess balance in clinical settings, but its relationship to gait stability is unclear. We assessed if dynamic gait stability is associated with standing balance in 12 patients with unilateral vestibulopathy. Participants were unexpectedly tripped during treadmill walking and the change in the margin of stability (MoSchange) and base of support (BoSchange) relative to nonperturbed walking was calculated for the perturbed and first recovery steps. The center of pressure (COP) path during 30-s stance with eyes open and closed, and the distance between the most anterior point of the COP and the anterior BoS boundary during forward leaning (ADist), were assessed using a force plate. Pearson correlations were conducted between the static and dynamic variables. The perturbation caused a large decrease in the BoS, leading to a decrease in MoS. One of 12 correlations was significant (MoSchange at the perturbed step and ADist; r = −.595, P = .041; nonsignificant correlations: .068 ≤ P ≤ .995). The results suggest that different control mechanisms may be involved in stance and gait stability, as a consistent relationship was not found. Therefore, posturography may be of limited use in predicting stability in dynamic situations.

McCrum is with NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism, Maastricht University Medical Centre+, Department of Human Movement Science, Maastricht, The Netherlands; and the Institute of Movement and Sport Gerontology, German Sport University Cologne, Cologne, Germany. Eysel-Gosepath is with the Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany. Epro is with the Institute of Movement and Sport Gerontology, German Sport University Cologne, Cologne, Germany; the Institute of Biomechanics and Orthopaedics, German Sport University Cologne, Cologne, Germany; and Sport and Exercise Science Research Centre, School of Applied Sciences, London South Bank University, London, UK. Meijer and Savelberg are with NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism, Maastricht University Medical Centre+, Department of Human Movement Science, Maastricht, The Netherlands. Brüggemann is with the Institute of Biomechanics and Orthopaedics, German Sport University Cologne, Cologne, Germany; and the Cologne Center for Musculoskeletal Biomechanics, Medical Faculty, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany. Karamanidis is with the Institute of Movement and Sport Gerontology, German Sport University Cologne, Cologne, Germany; and Sport and Exercise Science Research Centre, School of Applied Sciences, London South Bank University, London, UK.

Address author correspondence to Kiros Karamanidis at k.karamanidis@lsbu.ac.uk.