Lower Limb Neuromuscular Activities of Gait in People with Traumatic Brain Injury

Colton Belnap, Jong Sung, and Karen Appleby, Human Performance and Sports Studies, Idaho State University,921 South 8th Avenue, Pocatello , Idaho, 83209

Gait is an essential task to facilitate proper life functioning and daily activities. During the gait
cycle, different muscles in the lower limbs produce necessary movements. A normal task, such
as walking can become very complicated for people who have suffered a traumatic brain injury
(TBI). A TBI victim has suffered an injury to the brain that often inhibits properly relaying
neural signals to muscles. Consequently, the TBI can cause walking impairment by changing
how the leg muscles activate and can cause muscle co-activation or overactivation. Thus, this
study aims to analyze the abnormalities of gait in TBI victims by monitoring muscular activity in
the lower limbs. It is hypothesized that a TBI victim will have an abnormal walking pattern such
as muscle co-activation of the quadriceps/hamstring muscles and overactivation of plantar
flexors. To investigate our hypothesis, we will recruit ten ambulatory people (5 with TBI and
gait impairment, and 5 healthy age and gender-matched controls). To assess the neuromuscular
activities during walking in the study participants, electromyography (EMG) will be used. A
total of 8 EMG sensors will be placed on the participants’ right and left vastus lateralis, biceps
femoris, anterior tibialis, and the gastrocnemius. Then, the participants will be asked to walk on a
treadmill for 4 minutes at their comfortable speeds. Once the EMG signal is recorded during
walking, the lower limb neuromuscular activities will be evaluated and compared between those
with TBI and healthy age and gender-matched controls. It is anticipated that the agonist and
antagonist muscle co-activations and muscle overactivation in gastrocnemius will be observed in
people with TBI. The results will help give more insight into the effects of TBI on walking and
improve the treatment plans for people with TBI.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Colton Belnap

Institution: Idaho State University

Type: Poster

Subject: Exercise Science & Nutrition

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 7
Date/Time: Tue 3:30pm-4:30pm
Session Number: 5024