Jar-opening challenges. Part 2: Estimating the force-generating capacity of thumb muscles in healthy young adults during jar-opening tasks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study discusses the force-generating capacity of thumb muscles during jar-opening tasks using two grip patterns: the power grip and the precision grip. This study develops a three-dimensional biomechanical model of the thumb to predict muscle forces in jar-opening activities based on external forces measured by a custom-designed jar device. Ten healthy subjects participated in the study. Each participant turned a jar lid of 66 mm diameter counterclockwise with maximal effort and preferred speed using both grip patterns. The average normal and tangential forces applied by the thumb to the jar lid show that the normal force is the primary contributive force for opening a jar. This normal force is approximately three times the tangential force. Muscular force-generating capacity measurements show that the major active muscles during a jar-opening activity for both grips include the flexor pollicis longus, flexor pollicis brevis, abductor pollicis brevis, adductor pollicis, and opponens pollicis. The total muscle force ratios for the precision grip and power grip with respect to externally applied forces are 5.6 and 4.7 respectively. These ratios indicate that the power grip pattern produces less muscle force per unit of external applied load. The technique proposed in this study provides a proper apparatus and model for measuring three-dimensional loads and estimating the force-generating capacity of each muscle and tendon of the thumb during jar-opening tasks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-588
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine
Volume223
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jul 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering

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