Split-Belt Treadmill Walking Alters Lower Extremity Frontal Plane Mechanics

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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Interventions that manipulate gait speed may also affect the control of frontal plane mechanics. Expanding the current knowledge of frontal plane adaptations during split-belt treadmill walking could advance our understanding of the influence of asymmetries in gait speed on frontal plane mechanics and provide insight into the breadth of adaptations required by split-belt walking (SBW). Thirteen young, healthy participants, free from lower extremity injury walked on a split-belt treadmill with belts moving simultaneously at different speeds. We examined frontal plane mechanics of the ankle, knee, and hip joints during SBW, as well as medio-lateral ground reaction forces (ML-GRF). We did not observe alterations in the frontal mechanics produced during early or late adaptation of SBW when compared to conditions where the belts moved together. We did observe that ML-GRF and hip moment impulse of the fast limb increased over time with adaptation to SBW. These results suggest this modality may provide a unique therapy for individuals with gait pathologies, impairments, or compensation(s).

Roper, Terza, and Hass are with the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA. Roemmich is with the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA; and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA. Tillman is with the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA; and Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA, USA.

Address author correspondence to Jaimie A. Roper at jroper@auburn.edu.
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