Influence of ankle plantarflexor fatigue on postural sway, lower limb articular angles, and postural strategies during unipedal quiet standing.Gait Posture. 2013 Apr; 37(4):547-51.GP
The purpose of this study was to investigate the changes in postural control and in posture induced by ankle plantarflexor fatigue during a unipedal stance task. We also studied the postural strategies in the antero-posterior and medio-lateral planes used by participants to maintain balance. Thirteen young adults were asked to stand barefoot on their preferred leg as still as possible for 30s with vision or without vision. Participants performed postural trials before and after a fatigue protocol that consisted of standing on toes until exhaustion. Centre of pressure (COP) displacements were measured with a force platform and electrogoniometers were placed at the ankle, knee and hip joints of the support leg to monitor articular angles. Relationships between changes in articular angles and displacements of the COP in the antero-posterior and medio-lateral planes were tested using cross-correlations. Sway area and velocity increased with fatigue, but only without vision. A posterior shift of the mean COP position was also observed after fatigue. Ankle and hip joints were more flexed after fatigue. Moderate to good relationships between COP displacements and ankle angles were observed before and after fatigue in both planes whereas these relationships were low for hip and knee joints. Ankle plantarflexors fatigue induced impairment in postural control and changes in posture. To compensate for the effects of fatigue, participants increased the flexion of the ankle and/or the hip joints but conserved the ankle strategy as the dominant postural strategy in both planes.