Experiments were conducted on normal level gait to determine the synergistic patterns present in the forces causing joint moments and those associated with the generation, absorption and transfer of mechanical energy. The following generalizations can be made about the patterns: (i) During swing phase three forces (gravitational, muscle and knee joint acceleration) are responsible for shank rotation, and are shown to act together during both acceleration and deceleration.—(ii) The patterns of generation, absorption and transfer of mechanical energy at the joints are detailed. These patterns demonstrate inter-segment transfers of energy through the joint centres, and through the muscles, as well as the more recognized generation and absorption by the muscles themselves.—As a result of the complexity shown in these patterns it is cautioned that fundamental relationships that may have been derived from controlled biomechanical experiments (such as horizontal flexion and extension of the forearm) are not likely to apply to more normal movements such as gait.
KeywordsTorque Normal Level Normal Movement Mechanical Energy Swing Phase
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