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Nigg's "Preferred Movement Path" Paradigm

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by paulglazier, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. paulglazier

    paulglazier Member

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    I have been reading Benno Nigg's new text book entitled "Biomechanics of Sport Shoes" and I am particularly interested in his "preferred movement path" paradigm. Interestingly, he seems to invoke an information-processing theoretical perspective by suggesting that the "preferred movement path" is "pre-programmed". Perhaps a better way of looking at the "preferred movement path" is by adopting a dynamical systems theoretical framework, which basically suggests that patterns of human movement are a product of self-organising processes and constraints, with constraints being boundaries, limitations or design features that restrict the motion of individual degrees of freedom.

    I am interested in knowing which musculoskeletal constraints are likely to responsible for determining the "preferred movement path" so I was wondering whether anyone knows of any empirical or modelling studies that have attempted to identify relationships between specific musculoskeletal variables (e.g., shapes of bones, angle of articulation, etc.) and gait characteristics?

    Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. efuller

    efuller MVP

    Does Nigg state in a few paragraphs what the paradigm is? It would be great if you could post that.

    I like the vast majority of Nigg's work, but this explanation I have problems with. One example that comes to mind is the treatment of late stance phase pronation with an orthotic. Before the orthotic, there is pronation of the STJ either just before or after heel off in gait. After the orthotic there is supination. As I understand the preferred movement pathway paradigm, this would not happen in that paradigm. Or you could call this adding a constraint.

    Also, having had the pleasure of watching my children learn to walk, I would say that walking is a learned behavior. When they are just starting there is definitely some trial and error going on.

    There is some choice in how people choose to walk. For example, if you observe ballet dancers, they have a particular style of walking. I believe they choose to walk this way to "fit in."

  3. paulglazier

    paulglazier Member

  4. I think the "preferred movement pathway" is that of the centre of mass (COM). The body modulates joint excursions in an attempt to maintain a constant centre of mass pathway for a given ambulatory function.
  5. Paul:

    Here is one of the slides from a lecture I gave

  6. Here's what I said about Benno Nigg's Preferred Movement Pathway Model when I lectured on "Foot Orthoses: Theory and Biomechanical Effects" at the PFOLA meeting in 2006. I lectured with Benno before at the University of Calgary and we have spoken about his theory. I can't say I agree with his model since the body simply doesn't behave the way his model hypothesizes in all instances. I believe there is a much more sophisticated and better explanation for the kinematics of gait, but that Preferred Movement Pathway Model is an interesting idea.

    Sorry for the partial post earlier...my internet connection failed here in Orlando midway through my posting.
  7. Actually, the first paper where Nigg and coworkers mention the concept of Preferred Motion Pathway are from this 1999 paper.

    Nigg BM, Nurse MA, Stefanyshyn DJ: Shoe inserts and orthotics for sport and physical activities. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 31:S421-S428, 1999.

    Attached Files:

  8. Peter G Guy

    Peter G Guy Member

    Hi everyone
    We had Benno as a keynote speaker at the Canadian Federation of Podiatric Medicine Conference in Toronto last week. I got to talk with him about foot function. I wondered what his thoughts on the mid foot function because most of his studies are rearfoot based. He didn't really comment on the mid foot but I also found his preferred pathway paradigm interesting. I bought his book and he signed it for me " the foot is an important structure of the human body".

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