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Pendulum gait theory?

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Kahuna, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. Kahuna

    Kahuna Active Member


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    Hi All

    What do we think to "Pendulum Gait Theory" in Podiatry?

    I never heard the theory formally taught when I was an undergrad at QMU Edinburgh, however, it is always the subject of discussions with Physio and Chiropractic colleagues.

    The theory suggests that the lower limb doesnt swing exclusively from the hip, but rather, from the lumbar-thoracic area of the spine. This could be one reason why a new orthotic prescription can sometimes hurt a patient's mid-spine area during the settling in process.

    Thanks,

    Peter
     
  2. efuller

    efuller MVP

    Speaking for myself, I don't think that a pedulum describes what happens in gait very well. A pendulum uses gravity to power itself. When the pendulum is suspended from, not directly, above, the force of gravity will tend to pull it toword where it is suspended from. This is somewhat true in gait, in that if you lift the trailing leg off of the ground, it will be suspended from the hip and the pull of gravity will tend to pull it forward. Simultaneusly. the leg will pull the body backward (Newton's first law). So, this sort of works, but we can speed the process up by adding energy to the swing leg. You can either pull from the hip or push from the ground with ankle joint plantar flexion.

    So, the structures that cross the hip, e.g. Ileopsoas and others, can pull the leg foward. That might be what they mean when they talk about the lumbar thoracic area. The hip joint (head of femur in acetabulum) cannot add power all by itself other than by the pendulum mechanism I described above.

    A good place to look on what powers gait are the articles by David Winter.

    Eric
     
  3. footdrcb

    footdrcb Active Member

    A great example of pendulum gait is John Cleese doing the Silly Walk .
     
  4. I agree. While an inverted pendulum model describes the energetics of human walking it cannot describe the ground reaction forces observed in-vivo. A better model is the bipedal spring mass model of Geyer: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~cga/legs/GeyerEA06RoySocBiolSci.pdf
     
  5. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

    Articles:
    1
    The strengths and weaknesses of inverted pendulum models of human walking
    Michael McGrath, David Howard, Richard Baker
    Gait and Posture; February 2015Volume 41, Issue 2, Pages 389–394
     
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