An induced acceleration index for examining joint couplings

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4 Scopus citations


A muscle produces moments at the joints it crosses, but these moments can also cause accelerations at joints not crossed by the muscle. This phenomenon, the acceleration of a joint caused by a muscle not crossing the joint, is referred to as induced acceleration. For a system of rigid bodies this study examines how system configuration, and segmental inertial properties dictate the potential of one joint to cause the acceleration of other joints in the system. From the equations of motion for a series of rigid bodies, an induced acceleration index (IAI) was developed. The IAI permits quantification of the relative potential of moments produced at joints in the kinematic chain to accelerate other joints in the kinematic chain. The IAI is a function of system orientation, segment lengths, and inertial properties. The IAI was used to examine the roles of the ankle and hip joints in quiet standing. The ankle joint had over 12 times the ability to accelerate the hip joint, than the hip had to accelerate the ankle joint. These results in part explain the relative merits of the two strategies predominantly used to maintain upright stance: the ankle and hip strategies. This index permits an understanding of how the induced accelerations are dependent on system configuration and inertial properties. The IAI is also useful in situations where the inertial properties of the system under investigation changes, for example due to the fitting of a new prostheses to a trans-tibial amputee.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2320-2322
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Aug 11 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


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