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Journal Article

Citation

McCrory JL, Chambers AJ, Daftary A, Redfern MS. Gait Posture 2019; 76: 204-209.

Affiliation

Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Electronic address: mredfern@pitt.edu.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2019, Elsevier Publishing)

DOI

10.1016/j.gaitpost.2019.11.012

PMID

31864172

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Pregnant women experience numerous physiological and biomechanical alterations which may be associated with their increased risk of experiencing a fall. Gait alterations in other populations who fall include increased step width and mediolateral trunk motion. It is not known if pregnant women who have fallen exhibit these alterations. RESEARCH QUESTION: Our purpose was to examine torso kinematics and step width during gait in pregnant fallers, pregnant non-fallers and non-pregnant controls. We also examined trunk anthropometry in the pregnant groups to determine if pregnant fallers have different trunk physiques than pregnant non-fallers.

METHODS: 3D kinematic data were collected on 14 pregnant fallers, 15 pregnant non-fallers and 40 non-pregnant controls. Pregnant women were in their second or third trimester of pregnancy. Frontal plane translations of C7 and L4, step width, stride length, walking velocity, and 3D thoracic and pelvic kinematics were determined. Anthropometric torso measurements were obtained on the pregnant women. A series of MANCOVAs was performed (covariate: walking velocity, α = 0.05) to compare the dependent variables between pregnant fallers, pregnant non-fallers, and controls. Tukey post-hoc analyses were performed when appropriate (α = 0.05). A MANOVA compared anthropometric variables between pregnant fallers and non-fallers (α = 0.05).

RESULTS: Pregnant non-fallers exhibited greater step width and frontal and transverse plane angles at heel contact and range of motion over the gait cycle when compared to the fallers. Trunk anthropometry did not differ between pregnant fallers and non-fallers. SIGNIFICANCE: Pregnancy-associated gait alterations differed between fallers and non-fallers. Greater step width of the pregnant non-fallers increased the base of support, thus increasing stability. Exercise participation may allow pregnant women to better adapt to their altered physiques and be more able to prevent a fall should a trip or slip occur.

Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Language: en

Keywords

Fallers; Gait; Kinematics; Pregnancy; Walking

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