Two students and one faculty member from the Department of Kinesiology are celebrating the publication of their research article, “Sex and limb differences during a single-leg cut with body borne load” to the peer reviewed journal Gait and Posture.
AuraLea Fain and Nicholas Lobb, both master of science in kinesiology graduates, were joined by co-authors, Tyler Brown, assistant professor and director of the Center for Orthopaedic and Biomechanics Research, and Kayla Seymore, former research assistant for the Center for Orthopaedic and Biomechanics Research. Researchers worked to examine the risk of injury between men and women in the military, as they perform common training tasks while carrying body borne loads such as carrying a weighted backpack.
Researchers understood that carrying body borne loads during training tasks can increase one’s risk of musculoskeletal injuries, particularly in the lower limbs which can influence muscles; nerves; ligaments; joints; blood vessels, neck, and lower back. However, researchers were interested in whether there was a difference of the level of risk between male and females.
Therefore, researchers studied 16 females and 20 males as they performed exercises where they ran four meters per second towards a destination where they would plant their foot on a force platform and change the direction of their travel 45 degrees towards the opposite limb, all while carrying loads of either 20, 25, 30 and 35 kg. During this test, researchers measured the impact this excersise had to participant’s limbs and the effects of injury based on the weight of the load they carried, participants’ sex, and the limb that was used when changing direction 45 degrees.
As a result, females exhibited greater forces at the knee related to risk of musculoskeletal injury than males. These results indicated to researchers that adding body borne loads of any weight increased the risk of knee musculoskeletal injury as well as potential strain of the knee’s soft-tissues in both male and females. Additionally, females showed differences in their lower limb biomechanics that have the potential to elevate injury risk when carrying a weighted load.
-By Taylor Music