Detailed kinematic evaluation of shoulder motion during normal gait in healthy young males




human gait, kinematic parameters, shoulder joint, rehabilitation, three-dimensional video analysis, Vicon


Complex kinematic analysis of human motion has become achievable through new technological developments. Several new studies have already taken advantage of the new kinematic approach for documentation and analysis of pathological motion, including palsy, paralyses, Parkinson’s disease and others. However, physiological motion of gait and corresponding upper limb motion has seldom been studied. The aim of this study was to collect and analyse data of shoulder motion of 45 healthy young males during the gait cycle. Detailed dynamic kinematic measurements revealed that the arm remained constantly in an internal rotation position with changing and adapting angle along the gait cycle with maximal internal rotation at mid-stance and at mid-swing, and minimal internal rotation in the beginning and at the end of the cycle, as well as at mid-cycle. At the same time, the arm remained constantly in an adduction position, with maximal adduction by mid-cycle and minimal adduction in the beginning and at the end of the cycle. In parallel, the arm reached maximal extension around the beginning and the end of the cycle, with maximal flexion just before mid-cycle. During the gait cycle, there was regular and repetitive movements of the shoulder joint and the arm with constant range of movements, i.e. for the shoulder: 24.6°±3.4° for the flexion-extension movement, 6.44°±0.2° for the adduction-abduction movement and 4.57°±0.1° for the rotational movement. These data provide a first valuable base of the normal, physiological role of the arm for a stable and balanced gait in young adult males. From there, pathologies of the arm and shoulder may be dissected and their influence on the gait cycle investigated in the future. In addition, these data may also be used for the design and control of robotic arm prosthesis.