• Dysfunctional muscle activities and co-contraction in the lower-limb of lumbar disc herniation patients during walking

      Wang, Wei; Wei, Hui; Shi, Runxiu; Lin, Leitong; Zhang, Lechi; Yue, Shouwei; Zhao, Qin; Jia, Xiaofeng; Li, Ke; Zhang, Yang (Springer Nature, 2020-11-24)
      This study aimed to investigate lower-limb muscle activities in gait phases and co-contraction of one gait cycle in patients with lumbar disc herniation (LDH). This study enrolled 17 LDH patients and 17 sex- and age-matched healthy individuals. Bilateral muscle activities of the rectus femoris (RF), biceps femoris long head (BL), tibialis anterior (TA), and lateral gastrocnemius (LG) during walking were recorded. The gait cycle was divided into four phases by the heel strike and top off according to the kinematics tracks. Root mean square (RMS), mean frequency (MF), and co-contraction of surface electromyography signals were calculated. The LDH patients showed enhanced BL RMS during the single support phase (SS), second double support phase, and swing phase (SW) as well as decreased MF of RF during SS and of TA and LG during SW (p < 0.05). The co-contraction of the TA-LG was increased in LDH patients than in the control group (p < 0.05). Positive correlations were observed between TA-LG co-contraction (affected side, r = 0.557, p = 0.020; contralateral side, r = 0.627, p = 0.007) and the Oswestry disability index scores in LDH patients. LDH patients have increased BL firing rate and insufficient motor unit recruitment in specific phases in the lower limbs during walking. Dysfunction in LDH patients was associated with immoderate intermuscular co-contraction of the TA-LG during walking.