Representation of planar motion of complex joints by means of rolling pairs. Application to neck motion

Autores UPV
Revista Journal of Biomechanics


We propose to model planar movements between two human segments by means of rolling-without-slipping kinematic pairs. We compute the path traced by the instantaneous center of rotation (ICR) as seen from the proximal and distal segments, thus obtaining the fixed and moving centrodes, respectively. The joint motion is then represented by the rolling-without-slipping of one centrode on the other. The resulting joint kinematic model is based on the real movement and accounts for nonfixed axes of rotation; therefore it could improve current models based on revolute pairs in those cases where joint movement implies displacement of the ICR. Previous authors have used the ICR to characterize human joint motion, but they only considered the fixed centrode. Such an approach is not adequate for reproducing motion because the fixed centrode by itself does not convey information about body position. The combination of the fixed and moving centrodes gathers the kinematic information needed to reproduce the position and velocities of moving bodies. To illustrate our method, we applied it to the flexion-extension movement of the head relative to the thorax. The model provides a good estimation of motion both for position variables (mean R pos=0.995) and for velocities (mean R vel=0.958). This approach is more realistic than other models of neck motion based on revolute pairs, such as the dual-pivot model. The geometry of the centrodes can provide some information about the nature of the movement. For instance, the ascending and descending curves of the fixed centrode suggest a sequential movement of the cervical vertebrae. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.