Electromyographic response to perturbation by a powered ankle foot orthosis during treadmill walking in healthy subjects
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Short term adaptation to error and the display of short-lasting aftereffects is thought to be the basis for neuromuscular learning and has been demonstrated in upper and lower limb rehabilitation research. The objective of the current work is to study the effects of unilateral plantarflexion and dorsiflexion perturbations to the ankle of asymptomatic subjects as the subject prepares for initial contact at heel strike. A novel powered ankle foot orthosis (AFO) will be used to supply the perturbations during treadmill walking. Electromyographic data were collected during the trials and will be explored to detect the subject’s response to the opposing perturbations. We hope that further study into this topic will enable health care teams to develop gait rehabilitation programs designed to elicit favorable muscle responses, thereby increasing the success magnitude and rate of gait training therapies.