Standing on wedges modifies side-specific postural control in the presence of lateral external perturbations

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Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology



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Standing on wedges changes the position in the ankle joints and affects postural stability in the medial-lateral direction. The objective of the study was to investigate the role of wedges and external lateral perturbations on anticipatory (APA) and compensatory postural adjustments (CPA). Ten healthy young participants were exposed to perturbations applied to the lateral part of their right shoulder when standing on a planar surface, on a medial or lateral wedges. Bilateral electromyographic activity of dorsal and ventral postural muscles and the center of pressure (COP) displacement were recorded and analyzed during the APA and CPA phases. When exposed to the lateral perturbation, reciprocal activation of shank muscles was seen on the side of the perturbation while co-contraction of shank muscles was seen on the contralateral side during the APA and CPA phases. Standing on a wedge was associated with decreased magnitudes of co-contraction and reciprocal activation of shank muscles. The COP displacements were smaller in the APA phase and larger in the CPA phase while standing on wedges compared to standing on the planar surface. The outcome of the study provides a basis for future investigations of incorporating wedges in balance re-training paradigms for the elderly or individuals with neurological impairment. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd



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