Lower limb muscle fatigue during walking in children with cerebral palsy
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionDevelopmental Medicine & Child Neurology. 2018, 61 (2), 212-218. 10.1111/dmcn.14002
Aim To investigate whether more prominent signs of muscle fatigue occur during self‐paced walking in children with cerebral palsy (CP) compared to typically developing peers. Method In this case–control study, 13 children with CP (four males, nine females; mean age [SD] 11y 4mo [3y 8mo]; nine in Gross Motor Function Classification System [GMFCS] level I, three in GMFCS level II, and one in GMFCS level III) and 14 typically developing peers (nine males, five females; mean age [SD] 9y 10mo [1y 10mo]) walked 5 minutes overground at a self‐selected walking speed. Electromyography (EMG) median frequency and root mean square (RMS) were identified per gait cycle from EMG recordings of the tibialis anterior, gastrocnemius medialis, soleus, rectus femoris, and semitendinosus. Rate of change in those variables was analysed using mixed linear model analyses. Results The decrease in EMG median frequency of gastrocnemius medialis and soleus and increase in EMG‐RMS of tibialis anterior, gastrocnemius medialis, and soleus were significantly larger in the most affected leg of children with CP compared with typically developing peers. Interpretation Increased selective muscle fatigue of the lower leg muscles was observed during self‐paced walking in children with mild‐to‐moderate severe CP. This could contribute to and account for limited walking capacity.