Assessing the role of ankle and hip joint proprioceptive information in balance recovery using vibratory stimulation

Mehran Asghari, Karam Elali, Alexis Sullivan, Bonnie LaFleur, Michael L. Madigan, Nima Toosizadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Previous work suggests that proprioceptive information from ankle and hip are crucial in maintaining balance during upright standing; however, the contribution of these proprioceptive information during stepping balance recovery in not clear. The goal of the current study was to assess the role of ankle and hip proprioceptive information on balance recovery performance by manipulating type 1a afferent in muscle spindles using vibratory stimulation. Methods: Twenty healthy young participants were recruited (age = 22.2 ± 2.7 years) and were randomly assigned to balance recovery sessions with either ankle or hip stimulation. Trip-like perturbations were imposed using a modified treadmill setup with a protecting harness. Vibratory stimulation was imposed bilaterally on ankle and hip muscles to expose participants to three condition of no-vibration, 40Hz vibration, and 80Hz vibration. Kinematics of the trunk and lower-extremities were measured using wearable sensors to characterize balance recovery performance. Outcomes were response time, recovery step length, trunk angle during toe-off and heel-strike of recovery stepping, and required time for full recovery. Findings: Ankle vibratory stimulation elicited main effects on reaction time and recovery step length (p < 0.002); reaction time and recovery step length increased by 23.0% and 21.2%, respectively, on average across the conditions. Hip vibratory stimulation elicited significant increase in the full recovery time (p = 0.019), with 55.3% increase on average across the conditions. Interpretation: Current findings provided evidence that vibratory stimulation can affect the balance recovery performance, causing a delayed recovery initiation and an impaired balance refinement after the recovery stepping when applied to ankle and hip muscles, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere25979
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 29 2024


  • Balance perturbation
  • Lower-extremity
  • Motor function
  • Stochastic noise
  • Treadmill walking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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