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Joanna B. Morley, Leslie M. Decker, Tracy Dierks, Daniel Blanke, Jeffrey A. French, and Nicholas Stergiou

Despite extensive research on running mechanics, there is still a knowledge gap with respect to the degree of relationship between mediolateral ground reaction forces (ML-GRF) and foot pronation. Our goal was to investigate whether differences exist in ML-GRF among runners that exhibit different degrees of pronation. Seventeen male and 13 female recreational runners ran with and without shoes while ML-GRF and frontal kinematics were collected simultaneously. Subjects were divided into groups based upon their peak eversion (low pronation, middle pronation, high pronation). Discrete parameters from the ML-GRF were peak forces, respective times of occurrence, and impulses. No significant differences were found between groups regarding the magnitude of ML-GRF. Based upon the relative times of occurrence, the peak medial GRF occurred closer to the peak eversion than the peak lateral GRF. Findings support the idea that the ML-GRF have less to do with pronation than previous research suggested.

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Jessie M. Huisinga, Kendra K. Schmid, Mary L. Filipi, and Nicholas Stergiou

Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience abnormal gait patterns and reduced physical activity. The purpose of this study was to determine if an elliptical exercise intervention for patients with MS would change joint kinetics during gait toward healthy control values. Gait analysis was performed on patients with MS (n = 24) before and after completion of 15 sessions of supervised exercise. Joint torques and powers were calculated, while also using walking velocity as a covariate, to determine the effects of elliptical exercise on lower extremity joint kinetics during gait. Results show that elliptical exercise significantly altered joint torques at the ankle and hip and joint powers at the ankle during stance. The change in joint power at the ankle indicates that, after training, patients with MS employed a walking strategy that is more similar to that of healthy young adults. These results support the use of elliptical exercise as a gait training tool for patients with MS.

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Jennifer M. Yentes, Jessie M. Huisinga, Sara A. Myers, Iraklis I. Pipinos, Jason M. Johanning, and Nicholas Stergiou

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a manifestation of atherosclerosis resulting in intermittent claudication (IC) or leg pain during physical activity. Two drugs (cilostazol and pentoxifylline) are approved for treatment of IC. Our previous work has reported no significant differences in gait biomechanics before and after drug interventions when PAD patients walked without pain. However, it is possible that the drugs are more efficacious during gait with pain. Our aim was to use advanced biomechanical analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of these drugs while walking with pain. Initial and absolute claudication distances, joint kinematics, torques, powers, and gait velocity during the presence of pain were measured from 24 patients before and after 12 weeks of treatment with either cilostazol or pentoxifylline. We found no significant improvements after 12 weeks of treatment with either cilostazol or pentoxifylline on the gait biomechanics of PAD patients during pain. Our findings indicate that the medications cilostazol and pentoxifylline have reduced relevance in the care of gait dysfunction even during pain in patients with PAD.