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  • summary : human joints properties

    Dear Biomch-L users, my question was :

    >I am looking for the stiffnesses and dampings of the different human
    >joints, and also the range of rotations allowed for the 3 rotations at
    >each joint to model a realistic behaviour of a man during a tipover of
    > a vehicle.
    >If you have any information, or can suggest me books, papers... please
    >let me know.
    >Thank you very much,

    Marina Koutchouk

    The answers I have received are listed below :



    See if the following is of any help:

    Batman, M. and Seliktar, R. "Characterization of Human Joint Impedance
    During Impulsive Motion". Journal of
    Electromyography and Kinesiology, V.3, No. 4, 221-230, 1993.

    Also the following are the references extracted from this paper:

    1 Batman M: A Two Dimensional Mathematical Model of the Human Body for
    Car Crash Victim Simulation. M.Sc.
    thesis, Drexel University, Philadelphia, 1990.

    2 Bosio AC, Bowman MB: Simulation of Head-Neck Dynamic Response in -Gx
    and +Gy. Proceedings of the 30th
    Stapp Car Crash Conference: SAE 861895, pp 345-378, 1986.

    3 Cohen DS, Simeone L: The Safety Problem for Passengers in Frontal
    Impacts - Analysis of Accident,
    Laboratory, and Model Simulation Data: 11th International Technical
    Conference on Experimental Safety Vehicle:
    pp 550, 1989.

    4 Cooper GA: A Driver Environment Design Parameter Study. SAE 840865,

    5 Digges KH: Improvements in the Simulation of Unrestrained Passengers
    in Frontal Crashes Using Vehicle Test
    Data. SAE 860654, 1986.

    6 Fisher RG, Haertle JA: Computer Modeling in New Vehicle Design. SAE

    7 Gordon SL, Orticke PN, Prince J, Mcmeekin RR: Dynamic Characteristics
    of Human Leg Joints. Proceedings of
    the 21th Stapp Car Crash Conference: SAE 770924, pp 419-441, 1977.

    8 Lestrelin D, Fayon A, Tarriere C, Mack P: Three Applications of a
    Mathematical Model, PRAKIMOD, in Frontal
    Collisions. SAE 840857, 1984.

    9 Nyquist GW, Murton CJ: Static Bending Response of the Human Lower
    Torso. Proceedings of the 19th Stapp Car
    Crash Conference: SAE 751158, pp 513-541, 1975.

    10 Prasad P: An Overview of Major Occupant Simulation Models. SAE
    840855, 1984.

    11 Prasad P, Chou CC: A Review of Mathematical Occupant Simulation
    Models. Proceedings of the 1989 Winter
    Annual Meeting of the ASME: BED-Vol 13, pp 95-112.

    12 Robbins DH, Schneider LW, Snyder RG, Pflug M, Haffner M: Seated
    Posture of Vehicle Occupants.
    Proceedings of the 27th Stapp Car Crash Conference: SAE 831617, pp
    199-223, 1983.

    Rami Seliktar, Ph.D.
    Professor of Mechanical Engineering
    Drexel University
    32nd & Chestnut Streets
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

    Tel: (215) 895 2357
    Fax: (610) 649 1464


    The factors which affect human joint motion and stiffness are of
    to me. I have coauthored a book on musculoskeletal mechanics which
    includes information on these areas and is directed at a general
    It might serve as a stepping off point for you answers. The book is
    Clinical Mechanics of the Hand, Brand, PW and Hollister, AM Mosby, 1992

    If I can be of further help, please let me know.


    Anne Hollister, MD
    LSUMC-S / Orthopaedic Surgery
    1501 Kings Hwy.
    Shreveport, LA 71130-3932


    These articles mainly focus on the wrist and hand, but may contain
    and references that are more useful to you (especially the last one

    J. Ruy, W. P. Cooney, L. J. Askew, K.-N. An and E. Y. S. Chao,
    Functional Ranges of Motion of the Wrist Joint.
    The Journal of Hand Surgery, 16A(3):409-419, 1991.

    R. H. Brumfield and J. A. Champoux,
    A Biomechanical Study of Normal Functional Wrist Motion.
    Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, (187):23-25, 1984.

    A. K. Palmer, F. W. Werner, D. Murphy and R. Glisson,
    Functional Wrist Motion: A Biomechanical Study.
    The Journal of Hand Surgery, 10A(1):39-46, 1985

    Lemay, M.A. and Crago, P.E.,
    A dynamic model for simulating movements of the elbow, forearm, and
    Journal of Biomechanics, 29(10):1319-30, 1996

    A. Esteki and J. M. Mansour,
    Experimentally based nonlinear viscoelastic model of joint passive
    Journal of Biomechanics, 29(4), 443-450, 1996.

    Good luck!

    Oyvind Stavdahl (, student)
    Department of Engineering Cybernetics
    NTNU, The Norwegian University of
    Science and Technology Direct line: +47 73 59 43 77
    O. Bragstads plass 8 Switchboard: +47 73 59 43 76
    N-7034 TRONDHEIM Fax: +47 73 59 43 99
    NORWAY Email:


    Here are few references about stiffnesses and dampings of lower limb:

    1. Greene,P.R. and McMahon, T.A. (1979) Reflex stiffness of the
    muscles. J Biomech. (12) pp 881-891.

    2. Kim,W. ,Voloshin,A. and Johnson,S.H. (1994) Modelling of heel strike
    transients during running. Human Movement Science (13) 221-244

    3. Mizrahi ,J. and Susak, Z. (1982) In-Vivo Elastic and Damping Response
    of the Human Leg to Impact Forces. J Biomech. Eng (104) 63-66

    4. Nevzat ,H.O. and Berme, N. (1988) An Experimental and Analytical
    of Impact Forces During Human Jumping. J Biomech. (21/12) 1061-1066

    If you get some more replies - or you have other of your own - would
    you please send me a copy ?...

    Good luck with your research.


    ================================================== ==============
    Bye...& Have a nice day...

    () David Daily
    /\ Dept. of Biomedical Eng.
    Dudi Daily_/) Technion, IIT
    /\ Haifa 32000 , ISRAEL
    / \ E-mail :
    _\ _\ Tel. : 972-4-8294141
    ================================================== ===============


    Check out the following two references (Bennet et al has the meat)

    William Harwin

    _Measuring elbow stiffness during movement.

    o Joint stiffness has a range from 2 Nm/rad to 350 Nm/rad.
    o Equilibrium point hypothesis predicts stiffness should change
    movement, c.f. robots where stiffness is constant during
    o Human muscles are known to be highly non-linear.

    Would like to measure how arm impedance parameters - in particular
    stiffness - change during movements.


    D.J. Bennett, J.M. Hollerbach, Y. Xu, and I.W. Hunter.
    Time-varying stiffness of human elbow joint during cyclic
    voluntary movement. Experimental Brain Research, Vol 88 pp
    433-442, 1992. (University of Reading Call number 612.805)

    Yangming Xu, Ian W. Hunter, John M. Hollerbach, and David
    J. Bennett. An Airjet Actuator System for identification of the
    human arm joint mechanical properties. IEEE Transactions on
    Biomedical Engineering, Vol 38 No 11, pp 1111-1122 Nov 1991
    (University of Reading Call number 621.305)

    Dr W.S. Harwin | email:
    Department of Cybernetics | Tel: +44 (0) 118 9316792 (direct)
    University of Reading, P.O. Box 225 | Fax: +44 (0) 118 9318220
    Reading, RG6~6AY England | Home: +44 (0) 1491 875406



    I am responding to Marina Koutchouk's request for information regarindg
    the stiffness and dampins of different human joints posted on Frduay 20

    In general I thing that most of the information is simply not available.
    There have been a number of single degree of freedom studies of
    individual joints -- mostly ankle, finger, wrist and elbow. Ian Hunter
    and I reviewed these in a CRC review in 1990.
    (Kearney, R.E. and I.W. Hunter, System identification of human joint
    dynamics. Critical Reviews in Biomedical Engineering, (1990) .18:55-8.).
    In general these studies show that:

    (1) Joint propoerties can be reasonably approximated by inertia,
    stiffness and damping for small perturbations under stationary operating

    (2) However, the damping and stiffness change dramatically with the
    operasting point and are particularly sensitive to changes in position
    and level of activations. Stiffness changes may be greater than an order
    of magnitude as these conditions vary through the physiological range.

    (3) The simple second order model DOES NOT hold when these parameters
    are changing rapidly as they do during active or passive movements

    (MacNeil, J.B., R.E. Kearney, and I.W. Hunter, Identification of
    time-varying biological systems from ensemble data. IEEE Trans. BME,
    (1992) .39:1213-1225.

    (Kirsch, R.E. and R.E. Kearney, Identification of time-varying stiffness
    dynamics of the human ankle during an imposed movement. Exp. Brain Res.,
    (1996) .In Press.

    (4) Reflex contirbutions, at least at the ankle, are very nonlinear and
    cannot bre thought of as simply increasing the stiffness or damping at
    the ankle (e.g. Kearney, R.E., R.B. Stein, and L. Parameswaran,
    Identification of intrinsic and reflex contributions to human ankle
    stiffness dynamics. IEEE Trans. BME, (1997)

    (5) Until now there have been relatively few studies of joint mechanics
    of larger joints (hip, knee, shoulder) or multiple degrees of freedom
    There is some very recent work in this direction: Gomi, H. and M.
    Kawato, Eqilibrium-point control hypothesis examined by measured arm
    stiffness during multi-joint movement. Science, (1996) 272:117-120.)

    Hope this information helps. Please contact me if you need more

    rob kearney
    Robert E Kearney, Ph.D. Eng.,
    Professor & Chair,
    Department of Biomedical Engineering,
    McGill University,
    3775 University Street,
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 2B4

    Tel : (514) 398-6737
    Fax : (514) 398-7461


    Hello. I am a graduate student at Tokai univ. in Japan. I am
    the joint laxity for wrist. I estimate it using stiffness and damping
    is measured by developed measuring system. That is to measure a passive
    moment during flexion-extension movement. Most of my having literature
    about measurement and estimation of joint laxity, infuluence of soft
    (viscoelastic properties).
    Following literatures may not be your desired, but I hope that my
    is useful for you.

    1)Functionla wrist motion: Abiomechanical study, Andrew K. Palmer et
    J Hand Surg 10A , pp.39-46 , 1985.
    2)Viscoelastic propertie of the wrtist motor servo in man , C. C. A. M.
    Gielen et al.,
    Annals of Biomedical Engineering vol.12, pp.599-620, 1984.
    3)The mechanical behaviour of the passive arm, K.L.Boon et al., Medicine
    Sports vol.8, pp.243-248, 1973.
    4)Stiffness of the ligaments of the human wrist joint, H.H.C.M.
    Savelberg et al.,
    J. Biomechanics vol.25, No.4, pp.369-376, 1992.
    5)Mesureing devices for studying joint mobility in the normal
    D.O.Haskard and A.J.Silaman , Engng Med vol.14, No.2, pp.75-77,1985.
    6)A joint hyperextensometer for the quantification fo joint laxity,
    B.Jobbins et al.,
    Engng Med vol.8, No.2, pp.103-104,1979.
    7)An experimentally besed nonlinear viscoelastiv model of joint passive
    A.Esteki and J.M.Mansour, J.Biomechanics vol.29,No.4,pp443-450,1996.
    8)Maximum isometric moments generated by the wrist muscles in
    and radial-ulnar deviation, Scott L.Delp et al.,J. Biomechanics
    pp.1371-1375, 1996.
    9)Quantitative and qualitative andlysis of joint stiddness in normal
    subjects and in
    patient with connective tissue desieases, Verna wright and Richard
    Ann. rheum. Dis. Vol.20, pp.36-46,1961.
    10)Distribution of joint mobility in a normal population: results of the
    use of fixed
    torque measuring devices, Alan J. Silman et al., Ann. rhuem. Dis.
    vol.45, pp.27-30,

    Good luck.


    Thank you very much for all these informations...

    (. .)
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    Marina Koutchouk

    Etudiante en maitrise d'ingenierie - Master in Engineering student
    Genie Mecanique - Mechanical engineering
    Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal - Polytechnic School of Montreal

    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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