The influence of gait speed on co-activation in unilateral spastic cerebral palsy children

Gross, R, Leboeuf, FY ORCID:, Hardouin, JB, Lempereur, M, Perrouin-Verbe, B, Remy-Neris, O and Brochard, S 2013, 'The influence of gait speed on co-activation in unilateral spastic cerebral palsy children' , Clinical Biomechanics, 28 (3) .

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Background: Physiological co-activation of antagonistic muscles during gait allows stability of loaded joints. Excessive co-activation restrains motion and increases energy expenditure. Co-activation is increased by gait speed and in the case of upper motor neuron lesions. This study aimed to assess the pathological component of co-activation in children with unilateral cerebral palsy.
Methods: 10 children with unilateral cerebral palsy and 10 typically developing children walked at spontaneous, slow and fast speeds. The spatio-temporal parameters and electromyographic activity of the rectus femoris, vastus medialis, semi-tendinosus, tibialis anterior and soleus of both lower limbs were recorded. A co-activation index was computed from the EMG envelopes. A mixed linear model was used to assess the effect of walking speed on the index of the antagonistic muscle couples (rectus femoris/semi-tendinosus, vastus medialis/semi-tendinosus and tibialis anterior/soleus) in the different limbs.
Findings: A greater effect of walking speed on co-activation was found in the involved limbs of children with cerebral palsy for all muscle couples, compared with their uninvolved limbs and the limbs of typically developing children. In typically developing children, but not in children with cerebral palsy, the effect of gait speed on the co-activation index was lower in the rectus femoris/semi-tendinosus than in the other agonist/antagonist muscle couples.
Interpretations: In children with cerebral palsy, a pathological component of muscle activation might be responsible for the greater increase in co-activation with gait speed in the involved limb. Altered motor control could explain why the co-activation in the rectus femoris/semi-tendinosus couple becomes more sensitive to speed.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: Clinical Biomechanics
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0268-0033
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Dr Fabien LEBOEUF
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2018 10:51
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 23:38

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