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In vivo oscillations of the soleus muscle can be quantified using b-mode ultrasound imaging during walking and running in humans

Lai, Adrian and Hodson-Tole, Emma (2020) In vivo oscillations of the soleus muscle can be quantified using b-mode ultrasound imaging during walking and running in humans. Scientific Reports. ISSN 2045-2322

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Abstract

Impact forces, due to the foot contacting the ground during locomotion, can be considered input signals to the body that must be dissipated to prevent impact-related injuries. One proposed mechanism employed by the body to damp the impact is through vibrations of the skeletal muscles. However, there is yet to be direct in vivo measures of muscle oscillations during locomotion. This study investigated the use of 2D ultrasound imaging to quantify transverse muscle oscillations (deep-superficial displacement of the muscle boundary relative to the skin) in response to impact forces elicited by walking and running at a range of speeds. Increases in vertical impact forces with faster walking and running was consistent with changes in both magnitude and frequency in the measured oscillations of the soleus muscle; one of the main human ankle plantar flexors. Muscle oscillations contained more higher frequency components at fast running (50% signal power in frequencies below ~ 14 Hz) compared with slow walking (50% signal power contained in frequencies below ~ 5 Hz). This study provides a platform for ultrasound imaging to examine muscle oscillation responses to impact forces induced by changes in external interfaces such as shoe material, locomotion type and ground surface properties.

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