Computationally advanced biomechanical analyses of gait demonstrate the often counter-intuitive roles of joint moments on various aspects of gait such as propulsion, swing initiation, and balance. Each joint moment can produce linear and angular acceleration of all body segments (including those on which the moment does not directly act) due to the dynamic coupling inherent in the interconnected musculoskeletal system. This study presents quantitative relationships between individual joint moments and trunk control with respect to balance during gait to show that the ankle, knee, and hip joint moments all affect the angular acceleration of the trunk. We show that trunk angular acceleration is affected by all joints in the leg with varying degrees of dependence during the gait cycle. Furthermore, it is shown that inter-planar coupling exists and a two-dimensional analysis of trunk balance neglects important out-of-plane joint moments that affect trunk angular acceleration.
Published by Elsevier Ltd.