Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms

Cerebral Palsy (CP): condition caused by an injury to the brain usually occurring during or shortly after birth, or caused by abnormal central nervous system development. CP affects approximately 1 in 200 children, and is characterized by an abnormality of motor function and posture.

Cerebral palsy is generally described by the following three categories:

  • Diplegia: involving both legs
  • Hemiplegia: involving the arm, trunk, and leg on the same side of the body
  • Quadriplegia: involving both the arms and the legs

Electromyography (EMG): identifies the period and relative intensity of muscle function by recording the electrical signal elicited during muscular contraction. This is most commonly measured using surface electrodes. May also include needle, or fine-wire, electrodes for measuring deeper muscles.

Kinematics: dealing only with the geometry of motion without regard to the causes of the motion. In gait analysis, this usually refers to measurement of joint angles of the lower limbs - hip, knee, and ankle.

Kinetics: refers to the forces or loads that cause motion. Gait labs usually measure ground reaction force as well as joint moments and powers of the hip, knee, and ankle.