Increased trunk flexion may underlie elevated knee flexor activity in people with knee osteoarthritis

Preece, SJ ORCID: and Alghamdi, W 2021, 'Increased trunk flexion may underlie elevated knee flexor activity in people with knee osteoarthritis' , The Knee, 33 , pp. 216-225.

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 27 October 2022.
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 4.0.

Download (852kB) | Request a copy


Background: Previous research has demonstrated elevated activation of the knee flexor muscles in people with knee osteoarthritis. People with this condition have also been observed to walk with increased trunk flexion; this may alter biomechanical loading patterns and change muscle activation profiles. Therefore, the aim of this study was to understand the biomechanical effect of increasing trunk flexion during walking. Methods: Kinetic and EMG data were collected from a sample of 20 people with knee osteoarthritis and a sample of 20 healthy matched controls during normal walking. Using a biofeedback protocol, participants were subsequently instructed to walk with a 5° increase in trunk flexion. Sagittal moments, muscle activations and co-contractions were then compared across a window in early stance with a two-way ANOVA test. Results: When trunk flexion was increased, there was a corresponding increase in activity of the medial and lateral hamstrings and gastrocnemius muscles as well as a rise in medial co-contraction. This effect was consistent across the two groups. The most pronounced effect was observed for semitendinosus, which showed a dramatic change in activation profile in the healthy group and a 127% increase in activation during early stance. Conclusions: This is the first study to demonstrate that increased trunk flexion in people with knee osteoarthritis may explain, to some degree, the elevated knee flexor activity and medial co-contraction which is associated with this disease. These findings motivate further work to understand the therapeutic potential of interventions designed to improve postural alignment

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Journal or Publication Title: The Knee
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0968-0160
Related URLs:
Depositing User: SJ Preece
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2021 08:54
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 17:01

Actions (login required)

Edit record (repository staff only) Edit record (repository staff only)


Downloads per month over past year