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Effects of ankle fatigue on functional reflex activity during gait perturbations in young and elderly men

  • There is growing evidence that aging and muscle fatigue result in impaired postural reflexes in humans. Therefore, the objective of this study was to examine the effects of ankle fatigue on functional reflex activity (ERA) during gait perturbations in young and elderly men. Twenty-eight young (27.0 +/- 3.1 years, n = 14) and old (67.2 +/- 3.7 years, n = 14) healthy active men participated in this study. Fatigue of the plantarflexors and dorsiflexors was induced by isokinetic contractions. Pre and post-fatigue, subjects were tested for their ability to compensate for decelerating gait perturbations while walking on a treadmill. Latency, ERA of lower extremity muscles and angular velocity of the ankle joint complex were analysed by means of surface electromyography and goniometry. After the fatigue protocol, no significant main and interaction effects were detected for the parameter latency in m. tibialis anterior (TA). For both groups, a significant pre to post-test decrease in ERA in TA (P<.001) was observed coming along withThere is growing evidence that aging and muscle fatigue result in impaired postural reflexes in humans. Therefore, the objective of this study was to examine the effects of ankle fatigue on functional reflex activity (ERA) during gait perturbations in young and elderly men. Twenty-eight young (27.0 +/- 3.1 years, n = 14) and old (67.2 +/- 3.7 years, n = 14) healthy active men participated in this study. Fatigue of the plantarflexors and dorsiflexors was induced by isokinetic contractions. Pre and post-fatigue, subjects were tested for their ability to compensate for decelerating gait perturbations while walking on a treadmill. Latency, ERA of lower extremity muscles and angular velocity of the ankle joint complex were analysed by means of surface electromyography and goniometry. After the fatigue protocol, no significant main and interaction effects were detected for the parameter latency in m. tibialis anterior (TA). For both groups, a significant pre to post-test decrease in ERA in TA (P<.001) was observed coming along with increases in antagonist coactivity (P=.013) and maximal angular velocity of the ankle joint (p=.007). However, no significant group x test interactions were found for the three parameters. Ankle fatigue has an impact on the ability to compensate for gait perturbations in young and elderly adults. However, no significant differences in all analysed parameters were detected between young and elderly subjects. These results may imply that age-related deteriorations in the postural control system do not specifically affect the ability to compensate for gait perturbations under fatigued condition.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author details:Urs GranacherORCiDGND, Markus Gruber, Dominik Foerderer, Dieter Strass, Albert Gollhofer
URL:http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/09666362
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gaitpost.2010.03.016
ISSN:0966-6362
Publication type:Article
Language:English
Year of first publication:2010
Completion year:2010
Release date:2017/03/25
Source:Gait & posture. - ISSN 0966-6362. - 32 (2010), 1, S. 107 - 112
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Strukturbereich Kognitionswissenschaften / Department Sport- und Gesundheitswissenschaften
Peer review:Referiert