Changes in joint stability with muscle contraction measured from transmission of mechanical vibration

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • M G Feltham
  • J H van Dieën
  • M W Coppieters
  • P W Hodges
  • Max Feltham

External organisations

  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


A non-invasive in vivo technique was developed to evaluate changes in wrist joint stability properties induced by increased co-activation of the forearm muscles in a gripping task. Mechanical vibration at 45, 50 and 55 Hz was applied to the radial head in ten healthy volunteers. Vibrations of the styloid process of the radius and the distal end of the metacarpal bone of the index finger were measured with triaxial accelerometers. Joint stability properties were quantified by the transfer function gain between accelerations on either side of the wrist-joint. Gain was calculated with the muscles at rest and at five force levels ranging from 5% to 25% of maximum grip force (%MF). During contraction the gain was significantly greater than in control trial (0%MF) for all contractions levels at 45 and 50 Hz and a trend for 15%MF and higher at 55 Hz. Group means of contraction force and gain were significantly correlated at 45 (R(2)=0.98) and 50 Hz (R(2)=0.72), but not at 55 Hz (R(2)=0.10). In conclusion, vibration transmission gain may provide a method to evaluate changes in joint stability properties.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2850-6
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Adult, Biomechanical Phenomena, Diagnostic Techniques and Procedures, Electromyography, Energy Transfer, Female, Forearm, Hand Strength, Humans, Male, Muscle Contraction, Muscle, Skeletal, Postural Balance, Vibration, Wrist Joint