D.R. van der Woude, MSc.

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Difference in muscle activity in walking overground vs walking on a treadmill

In many private physical therapy practices and rehab centers treadmills are available for treatment and research. Due to the limited space using a treadmill for gait analysis is a big advantage . This allows clinicians to test long distances in relative small spaces without turning. It’s still unclear what the similarities and differences are in muscle activation between walking overground and treadmill walking. This makes it unclear if it’s possible to use a treadmill for gait analysis in order to analyse muscle activation patterns, especially on the level of central neurological control. Is the muscle activity and the intensity and duration of the muscle contraction during overground walking comparable with treadmill walking?

After a habituation period of ten minutes there still are some small, but significant differences in muscle activity.

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