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Phases of the gait cycle

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Question
Answer
Heel Strike   the point when the heel of the reference or support limb contacts the ground at the beginning of stance phase.  
Initial contact (RLA)   the instant that the foot of the lead extremity strikes the ground. (RLA)  
Muscles active at heel strike   knee extensors (quadriceps); ankle dorsiflexors (anterior tibialis, ext. hallucis longus, ext. digitorum longus) decelerate the foot, slowing plantarflexion  
Foot flat   the point when the sole of the foot of the reference or support limb makes contact with the ground.  
Loading response (RLA   the first period of double support immediately after initial contact until the contralateral leg leave the ground. (RLA)  
Muscles active at foot flat   gastrocnemius-soleus muscles are active through to midstance to eccentrically control forward tibial advancement.  
Midstance   the point at which full body weight is taken by the reference or support limb.  
Midstance (RLA)   the contralateral limb leaves the ground; body weight is taken and advanced over and ahead of the support limb; a period of single limb support. (RLA)  
Muscles active at midstance   hip, knee, and ankle extensors are active throughout stance to oppose gravity forces and stabilize the limb; hip extensors control forward motion of the trunk; hip abductors stabilize the pelvis during unilateral stance  
Heel off   occurs after midstance as the heel of the reference or support limb leaves the ground.  
Terminal stance (RLA)   the last period of single limb support that begins with heel rise and continues until the contralateral leg contacts the ground. (RLA)  
Muscles active at heel off   peak activity of plantarflexors occurs just after heel off to push off and generate forward propulsion of the body.  
Toe off   the last portion of stance when only the toe of the reference or support limb is in contact with the ground.  
Preswing (RLA)   the second period of double support from initial contact of the contralateral limb to lift off of the support limb. (RLA)  
Muscles active at toe off   hip and knee extensors (hamstrings and quadriceps) may contribute to forward propulsion with a brief burst of activity.  
Acceleration   the first portion of the swing phase from toe off of the reference limb until midswing.  
Initial swing (RLA)   from toe off of the reference limb until maximum knee flexion of the same extremity. (RLA)  
Muscles active at acceleration   brief action of quadriceps; by midswing the quadriceps is silent and pendular motion is in effect; hip flexors (iliopsoas) aid in forward limb propulsion.  
Midswing   the portion of the swing phase when the reference extremity moves directly below the body.  
Midswing (RLA)   the portion of the swing phase from maximum knee flexion of the reference extremity to a vertical tibial position. (RLA)  
Muscles active at midswing   foot clearance is achieved by contraction of the hip, knee flexors, and ankle dorsiflexors.  
Deceleration   the end of the swing phase when the reference extremity is slowing down in preparation for heel strike.  
Terminal swing (RLA)   the portion of the swing phase from a vertical tibial position of the reference extremity to just prior to initial contact. (RLA)  
Muscles active at deceleration   hamstrings act during late swing to decelerate the limb in preparation for heeltrike; quadriceps and ankle dorsiflexors become active in late swing to prepare for heelstrike.  


   






 
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