A common problem in the analyses of upper limb unfettered reaching movements is the estimation of joint torques using inverse dynamics. The inaccuracy in the estimation of joint torques can be caused by the inaccuracy in the acquisition of kinematic variables, body segment parameters (BSPs), and approximation in the biomechanical models. The effect of uncertainty in the estimation of body segment parameters can be especially important in the analysis of movements with high acceleration. A sensitivity analysis was performed to assess the relevance of different sources of inaccuracy in inverse dynamics analysis of a planar arm movement. Eight regression models and one water immersion method for the estimation of BSPs were used to quantify the influence of inertial models on the calculation of joint torques during numerical analysis of unfettered forward arm reaching movements. Thirteen subjects performed 72 forward planar reaches between two targets located on the horizontal plane and aligned with the median plane. Using a planar, double link model for the arm with a floating shoulder, we calculated the normalized joint torque peak and a normalized root mean square (rms) of torque at the shoulder and elbow joints. Statistical analyses quantified the influence of different BSP models on the kinetic variable variance for given uncertainty on the estimation of joint kinematics and biomechanical modeling errors. Our analysis revealed that the choice of BSP estimation method had a particular influence on the normalized rms of joint torques. Moreover, the normalization of kinetic variables to BSPs for a comparison among subjects showed that the interaction between the BSP estimation method and the subject specific somatotype and movement kinematics was a significant source of variance in the kinetic variables. The normalized joint torque peak and the normalized root mean square of joint torque represented valuable parameters to compare the effect of BSP estimation methods on the variance in the population of kinetic variables calculated across a group of subjects with different body types. We found that the variance of the arm segment parameter estimation had more influence on the calculated joint torques than the variance of the kinematics variables. This is due to the low moments of inertia of the upper limb, especially when compared with the leg. Therefore, the results of the inverse dynamics of arm movements are influenced by the choice of BSP estimation method to a greater extent than the results of gait analysis.
Comparative Analysis of Methods for Estimating Arm Segment Parameters and Joint Torques From Inverse Dynamics
Piovesan, D., Pierobon, A., DiZio, P., and Lackner, J. R. (February 4, 2011). "Comparative Analysis of Methods for Estimating Arm Segment Parameters and Joint Torques From Inverse Dynamics." ASME. J Biomech Eng. March 2011; 133(3): 031003. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4003308
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