Author(s): Fransson PA, Gomez S, Patel M, Johansson L
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Abstract Postural control ensures stability during both static posture and locomotion by initiating corrective adjustments in body movement. This is particularly important when the conditions of the support surface change. We investigated the effects of standing on a compliant foam surface using 12 normal subjects (mean age 26 years) in terms of: linear movements at the head, shoulder, hip and knee; EMG activity of the tibialis anterior and gastrocnemius muscles and torques towards the support surface. As subjects repeated the trials with eyes open or closed, we were also able to determine the effects of vision on multi-segmented body movements during standing upon different support surface conditions. As expected, EMG activity, torque variance values and body movements at all measured positions increased significantly when standing on foam compared with the firm surface. Linear knee and hip movements increased more, relative to shoulder and head movements while standing on foam. Vision stabilized the head and shoulder movements more than hip and knee movements while standing on foam support surface. Moreover, vision significantly reduced the tibialis anterior EMG activity and torque variance during the trials involving foam. In conclusion, the foam support surface increased corrective muscle and torque activity, and changed the firm-surface multi-segmented body movement pattern. Vision improved the ability of postural control to handle compliant surface conditions. Several essential features of postural control have been found from recording movements from multiple points on the body, synchronized with recording torque and EMG.
This article was published in Eur J Appl Physiol
and referenced in Journal of Physiotherapy & Physical Rehabilitation