EFFECTS OF EXTERNAL MASS ON RESTORING NORMAL GAIT PARAMETERS DURING UNDERWATER TREADMILL WALKING
INTRODUCTION: Body weight (BW) is unloaded from the lower extremities while walking underwater, resulting in altered gait kinematics when compared to walking on land. PURPOSE: This study aimed to compare gait kinematics of walking on land, underwater, and underwater reloaded to 100% land BW to determine if reloading returns gait kinematics to those of walking on land. METHODS: 20 male subjects, age (21.0±0.8 yr), weight (81.3±7.1 kg), and height (185.5±1.9 cm), performed three experimental trials of 5 min of walking (0.78±0.02 m/s pace). Trial one was performed on a land treadmill, trials two and three on an underwater treadmill. In the third trial subjects were reloaded to 100% land BW using a weight vest. Measured variables included knee and ankle angles at heel strike and toe off, step length, and cadence. RESULTS: During heel-strike significant decreases were found in knee angle and ankle angle in the loaded condition (-3.0%, p=0.001; -3.2%, p=0.001, respectively) as well as ankle angle in the unloaded condition (-1.0%, p=0.031). During toe-off, knee angle in the unloaded condition significantly increased (+4.09%, p=0.001). In the loaded condition, knee and ankle angles during toe-off were not significantly different from land values (p=0.421; p=0.699, respectively). In the unloaded condition, knee angle during heel-strike and ankle angle during toe-off were not significantly different from land values (p=0.058; p=0.535, respectively). Step length significantly increased in both the loaded (+1.7%, p=0.047) and unloaded (+16.7%, p=0.005) conditions. Cadence significantly decreased in the loaded (-10.2%, p<0.001) and unloaded (-17.7%, p<0.001) conditions. CONCLUSIONS: Reloading subjects to 100% land BW underwater did not correct all changes in gait mechanics seen in unloaded underwater treadmill walking when compared to land. Reloading does not account for all gait changes seen in underwater walking, suggesting that other factors, such as hydrodynamic resistance, affect gait kinematics.
Travis, J; Linedecker, P; James, B; Townsend, E; Stocker, G; Sullivan, L; Reynolds, S; and Higginson, B
"EFFECTS OF EXTERNAL MASS ON RESTORING NORMAL GAIT PARAMETERS DURING UNDERWATER TREADMILL WALKING,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings:
3, Article 53.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijesab/vol8/iss3/53
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