Speed impacts frontal-plane maneuver stability of individuals with incomplete spinal cord injury

Carolina Viramontes, Mengnan/Mary M. Wu, Julian Acasio, Janis Kim, Keith E. Gordon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Following incomplete spinal cord injury, people often move slowly in an effort to maintain stability during walking maneuvers. Here we examine how maneuver speed impacts frontal-plane stability in people with incomplete spinal cord injury. We hypothesized that the challenge to control frontal-plane stability would increase with maneuver speed; specifically, the minimum lateral margin of stability would be smaller and the required coefficient of friction to avoid a slip would be greater during fast vs. preferred speed maneuvers. Methods: We measured kinematics and ground reaction forces as 12 individuals with incomplete spinal cord injury performed side-step, lateral maneuvers at preferred and fast speeds. We examined four sequential steps: the Setup and Pushoff steps initiated the maneuver, and the Landing and Recovery steps arrested the maneuver. Findings: Our hypotheses were partially supported. Maneuver time was shorter during fast vs. preferred speed maneuvers (p = 0.003). Minimum lateral margin of stability was smaller during the Setup step of fast vs. preferred speed maneuvers (p = 0.026). We found no differences in minimum lateral margin of stability between speeds for the Landing and Recovery steps (p > 0.05). The required coefficient of friction was not different between fast and preferred speed maneuvers (p = 0.087). Interpretation: The greatest effect of increasing maneuver speed occurred during the Setup step; as speed increased, participants reduced their minimum lateral margin of stability ipsilateral to the maneuver direction. This action allowed maneuvers to be performed more quickly without requiring a greater lateral impulse during the Pushoff step. However, this strategy reduced passive stability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-114
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Biomechanics
Volume71
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Balance
  • Gait
  • Locomotion
  • Maneuver
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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