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Concussion is associated with altered preparatory postural adjustments during gait initiation

Abstract

Objective To quantify the preparatory postural adjustments (PPAs) during gait initiation (GI) in a group with concussion compared with a ‘healthy’ control group.

Design Case-control study

Setting University Biomechanics Laboratory.

Outcome measures Centre of pressure (COP) trajectory computed from a force plate and centre of mass (COM) trajectory as computed from an inertial measurement unit placed on the sacrum.

Results Concussed patients exhibited decreased COP excursion in the posterior direction on their dominant foot, both when it was the stepping limb (9.71mm [95% CI: 8 to 11mm] vs 15mm [95%CI: 12 to 17mm]) and when it was the support limb (10mm [95% CI: 8 to 12mm] vs 18mm [95%CI: 14 to 21mm]). This was reflected in the trajectory of the COM, wherein concussion patients exhibited lower posterior displacement (19mm [95%CI: 19.4mm to 19.7mm]) compared with controls (23mm [95%CI: 23 to 24]).

Conclusions : Individuals with concussion display deficits during a GI task comparable to those which have previously been established in populations with supraspinal impairments in motor control.

Competing interests None.

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