In a bipedal walk, the human body experiences continuous changes in stability especially during weight loading and unloading transitions which are reported crucial to avoid fall. Prior stability assessment methods are unclear to quantify stabilities during these gait transitions due to methodological and/or measurement limitations. This study introduces Nyquist and Bode methods to quantify stability gait transitional stabilities using the neuromechanical output (CoP) and somatosensory input (GRF) responses. These methods are implemented for five different walking conditions grouped into walking speed and imitated rotational impairments. The trials were recorded with eleven healthy subjects using motion cameras and force platforms. The time rate of change in O/Is illustrated impulsive responses and modelled in the frequency domain. Nyquist and Bode stability methods are applied to quantify stability margins. Stability margins from outputs illustrated loading phases as stable and unloading phases as unstable in all walking conditions. There was a strong intralimb compensatory interaction (p < .001, Spearman correlation) found between opposite limbs. Overall, both walking groups illustrated a decrease (p < .05, Wilcoxon signed-rank test) in stability margins compared with normal/preferred speed walk. Further, stabilities quantified from outputs were found greater in magnitudes than the instability quantified from inputs illustrating the neuromotor balance control ability. These stability outcomes were also compared by applying extrapolated-CoM method. These methods of investigating gait dynamic stability are considered as having important implications for the assessment of ankle-foot impairments, rehabilitation effectiveness, and wearable orthoses.
Mahmood, I., Martinez Hernandez, U., & Dehghani-Sanij, A. A. (2020). Evaluation of Gait Transitional phases using Neuromechanical outputs and somatosensory inputs in an Overground walk. Human Movement Science, 69, . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.humov.2019.102558