Comparison of gluteus medius muscle activity during functional tasks in individuals with and without osteoarthritis of the hip joint.
Neuromuscular alterations have been reported for patients with osteoarthritis of the hip joint; however, the underlying cause associated with altered gluteus medius muscle function has not been examined. This study assessed electromyographic amplitudes of the gluteus medius muscles during function in patients with unilateral end-stage osteoarthritis of the hip joint compared to controls.
Patients with hip osteoarthritis exhibited increased gluteus medius muscle electromyographic amplitudes bilaterally during stair ascent, stair descent, and gait compared to controls, regardless of which limb they led. Involved limb muscle activity was inversely related to impact force during step down onto the ipsilateral limb.
Patients with hip osteoarthritis demonstrated increased gluteus medius muscle activation levels during stepping tasks and gait when compared to controls. The increased activation is most likely a compensatory response to muscle weakness. Given that the alterations in the force-producing capabilities of the hip abductor muscles occur bilaterally for patients reporting with unilateral hip disease, addressing these impairments may be important to preserve the health of both hip joints. Therefore, application of strengthening exercises which target the gluteal muscles should assist in neuromuscular control and result in improved strength for patients with hip joint osteoarthritis. The relationship between muscle weakness, joint loading, and disease progression requires further study to make deﬁnitive conclusions. > from Dwyer et al., Clinical Biomechanics 28 (2013) 757–761. All rights reserved to Elsevier Ltd.
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