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Postural strategy changes with fatigue of the lumbar extensor muscles.
Wilson-EL; Madigan-ML; Davidson-BS; Nussbaum-MA
Gait Posture 2006 Apr; 23(3):348-354
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of lumbar extensor fatigue on postural strategy in response to a balance perturbation. Anteriorly-directed force perturbations were applied to the upper back with a padded pendulum and attempted to challenge the postural control system without eliciting a stepping response. In three separate sessions, subjects were perturbed both before and after a fatiguing protocol that induced lumbar extensor fatigue to one of three different fatigue levels. Postural strategy was quantified using center of pressure position along with joint angles and joint torques for the ankle, knee, hip, and "low back" joints. Results showed both proactive and reactive changes in postural strategy. Proactive changes involved a slight anterior lean prior to the perturbation, and reactive changes were consistent with a shift toward more of a hip strategy with fatigue. In addition, results suggested that subjects classified as moving mostly at the hip prior to fatigue were more affected by fatigue compared to subjects classified as moving roughly equal amounts at the ankle and hip prior to fatigue. Increasing fatigue level exaggerated some, but not all, of the changes in postural strategy with fatigue. These findings illustrate that neuromuscular fatigue can influence postural strategy in response to a balance perturbation.
Posture; Fatigue; Muscles; Biomechanics; Physiology; Musculoskeletal-system
Issue of Publication
Gait and Posture
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division