Lower limb muscle activity during gait in individuals with hearing loss
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The objective of this study was to investigate the electrical activity of lower limb muscles during gait in an able-bodied control group and in deaf individuals. Thirty male children were equally divided into a control group and a group of deaf children. A portable EMG system was used to record the activity of the bilateral tibialis anterior, gastrocnemius medialis and vastus lateralis muscles during barefoot walking with and without dual task. For EMG analysis, the average root mean square (RMS) values of the five trials were calculated and then normalized based on the peak RMS obtained by the maximum isometric voluntary contraction. MANOVA test was used for between group comparisons. The significance level was set at p < 0.05 for all analyses. The findings indicated that gait speed in children with hearing loss was smaller than that in control group. Dual task resulted in a decreased walking speed of children with hearing loss. The activities of tibialis anterior muscle in terminal stance phase (p = 0.040), medial gastrocnemius muscle in loading response and initial swing phases (p < 0.05), and vastus lateralis muscle in the terminal stance and pre swing phases (p < 0.05) were greater in deaf group. In deaf children the gait speed was reduced and the muscle activity was increased with respect to those in control group. This altered gait speed and muscle activity is suggestive of a lower mechanical efficiency of gait in deaf children.
KeywordsElectromyography Gait Dual task Deaf
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support for this work provided by Islamic Azad University, Hamedan Branch, Hamedan, Iran. We are grateful to Dr. Ali Gholami Mehrdad for reading and correcting the English text. We also wish to thank the honorable managing director of the Alaghbandian School in Hamedan, Mrs. Banisafar, and all of the subjects who participated in the study.
This study was funded by Islamic Azad University, Hamedan Branch, Hamedan, Iran.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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