Author(s): Winters J, Stark L, SeifNaraghi AH
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Abstract When antagonistic muscles co-contract, the impedance of musculoskeletal systems to applied loads is known to increase. In this paper a physiologically-based, higher-order, nonlinear antagonistic muscle-joint model is utilized to clarify the sources of impedance modulation during a variety of tasks, ranging from resisting transient loads to holding steady loads to making fast movements in unpredictable surroundings. It is shown that impedance modulation occurs automatically as a function of the specific operating ranges utilized during a given task by each of four different muscle-joint mechanical relations. The relative contribution of each relation depends on the type of task, with impedance during quasi-static conditions sensitive to muscle tension-length and sometimes joint parallel elastic properties and during dynamic tasks dominated by the series element and muscle force-velocity properties. Elimination of any of these causes a decrease in built-in biomechanical capabilities. These findings raise questions concerning past theories on stiffness-impedance modulation which appear to underestimate the role of inherent biomechanical properties.
This article was published in J Biomech
and referenced in Journal of Forensic Biomechanics