Prediction of ground reaction forces while walking in water.PLoS One 2019; 14(7):e0219673Plos
Despite being a key concept in rehabilitation, controlling weight-bearing load while walking, following lower limb injury is very hard to achieve. Walking in water provides an opportunity to prescribe load for people who have pain, weakness or weight bearing restrictions related to stages of healing. The aim of this experimental study was to evaluate and validate regression models for predicting ground reaction forces while walking in water. One hundred and thirty seven individuals (24±5 years, 1.71±0.08 m and 68.7±12.5 kg) were randomly assigned to a regression group (n = 113) and a validation group (n = 24). Trials were performed at a randomly assigned water depth (0.75 to 1.35 m), and at a self-selected speed. Independent variables were: immersion ratio, velocity, body mass, and waist, thigh and leg circumferences. Stepwise regression was used for the prediction of ground reaction forces and validation included agreement and consistency statistical analyses. Data from a force plate were compared with predicted data from the created model in the validation group. Body mass, immersion ratio, and velocity independently predicted 95% of the vertical and resultant ground reaction force variability, while, together, velocity and thigh circumference explained 81% of antero-posterior ground reaction force variability. When tested against the data measured in validation samples, the models output resulted in statistically similar values, intraclass correlation coefficients ranging from 0.88 to 0.90 and standard errors of measurement, 11.8 to 42.3 N. The models introduced in this study showed good predictive performance in our evaluation procedures and may be considered valid in the prediction of vertical, antero-posterior and resultant ground reaction forces while walking in water. All predictive variables can be easily determined in clinical practice. Future studies should focus on the validation of these models in specific populations.