Influences of walking speed change on the lumbosacral joint force distribution

Cheng Kung Cheng*, Hsiang Ho Chen, Cheng Sheng Chen, Shu Jen Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

25 Scopus citations


To more understand the influence of the walking speed on the spinal joint force distribution, a three-dimensional biomechanical model was used to estimate the spine loads during human gait with three different walking speeds. This previously developed and validated model included a dynamic external model and an internal model with forces of disc, 8 major muscles, 2 ligaments and 2 facet joints at L5/S1 level. A linear optimization method was used to solve the internal model to estimate the L5/S1 spinal joint force distribution. The results of five young male subjects showed that the mean peak L5/S1 disc compressive forces on the slow, preferred and fast speeds were 2.28, 2.53, 2.95 body weight, respectively. The peak forces happened right after the heel strike and before completely toe off. The facet joint forces were generally increased with the walking speed increase, too. To reduce the loads on the spine, the slow walking is then recommended for the patients with low back pain or after spinal surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-165
Number of pages11
JournalBio-Medical Materials and Engineering
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomechanical model
  • Gait
  • Lumbar spine
  • Walking speed


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