Background: Literature indicates the importance of the upper extremities in providing stability and propulsion for the body during ambulation. However, the kinetic implications of upper extremity restraint during gait are not as well documented. Aim: The objective of this study was to examine the effect of arm restraint (unilateral and bilateral) on lower extremity joint kinetics during walking. Methods: Twenty-three healthy young participants were instrumented for three dimensional motion analysis, and tested in four randomly ordered upper extremity restraint conditions (unrestrained, bilateral restraint, right side restraint, and left side restraint). Temporal spatial parameters and gait/phase-specific lower extremity kinetics and kinematics were measured. For each restraint condition, pointwise differences from the unrestrained condition were compared using a two-way ANOVA model of restraint condition (" Condition" ) and gait cycle phase (" Timing" ). Results: Decreases in walking speed and stride length were observed for all restraint conditions. Differences in kinetic demands were also noted, primarily at the hip and knee. Conclusion: Upper extremity restraint in healthy young adults leads to significant changes in temporal-spatial parameters and proximal joint kinetics, most prominently during periods of load accommodation and balance.
- Upper extremity