Recent advances in computational technology have dramatically increased the use of muscle-driven simulation to study accelerations produced by muscles during gait. Accelerations computed from muscle-driven simulations are sensitive to the model used to represent contact between the foot and ground. A foot-ground contact model must be able to calculate ground reaction forces and moments that are consistent with experimentally measured ground reaction forces and moments. We show here that a rolling constraint can model foot-ground contact and reproduce measured ground reaction forces and moments in an induced acceleration analysis of muscle-driven simulations of walking, running, and crouch gait. We also illustrate that a point constraint and a weld constraint used to model foot-ground contact in previous studies produce inaccurate reaction moments and lead to contradictory interpretations of muscle function. To enable others to use and test these different constraint types (i.e., rolling, point, and weld constraints) we have included them as part of an induced acceleration analysis in OpenSim, a freely-available biomechanics simulation package.
- Contact model
- Dynamic simulation
- Foot-ground constraints
- Induced acceleration analysis
- Muscle function