eesti teaduste
akadeemia kirjastus
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of the estonian academy of sciences
ISSN 1736-7530 (Electronic)
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Gastrocnemius muscle tone, elasticity, and stiffness in association with postural control characteristics in young men; pp. 525–534

Full article in PDF format | doi: 10.3176/proc.2015.4.07

Arved Vain, Tatjana Kums, Jaan Ereline, Mati Pääsuke, Helena Gapeyeva


The association between muscle tone and postural sway characteristics during standing was investigated in 27 healthy men aged 17–31 years. Frequency of muscle oscillations as an indicator of the tone, logarithmic decrement of the dampening of muscle oscillations as an indicator of the elasticity, and stiffness of the medial gastrocnemius (MG) muscle were measured bilaterally using a hand-held Myoton-3 device (Estonia). Postural sway of the centre of foot pressure during 30 s quiet bipedal standing was recorded using a Kistler force plate. As compared to the lying position, at standing on stable ground (SG) as well as on unstable ground (USG) (balance pad) the frequency of muscle oscillations was greater (162% and 166%, respectively) and so was stiffness (199% and 203%, respectively) but no significant differences for the logarithmic decrement of the dampening of muscle oscillations were noted. A greater coefficient of variation at standing on SG and USG as compared to the lying position for frequency of muscle oscillations (403% and 471%, respectively), for stiffness (177% and 187%, respectively), and for the logarithmic decrement of the dampening of muscle oscillations (120% and 122%, respectively) was found. Muscle tone and elasticity characteristics correlated positively with sway characteristics (radius and area of the centre of pressure) at USG standing. The change of posture from the supine to the standing position was accompanied by a marked increase in MG muscle tone and stiffness, but elasticity did not change. Coefficients of variation for the measured characteristics are suggested as new criteria for muscle function in relation to postural stability.


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