The successful application of a physiological model of the musculoskeletal system capable of accounting for nonequilibrium dynamic loading and predicting individual muscle forces in the knee is presented. The model incorporates rigid-body mechanics and musculoskeletal physiology. Unknown muscle and joint contact forces outnumber the equilibrium equations resulting in an indeterminant problem. Mathematical optimization is utilized to resolve the indeterminacy. The model is used to estimate individual muscle forces during isokinetic exercise. Five subjects were tested at speeds of 60°/s and 180°/s. A newly proposed optimal criterion, minimizing muscular activation, results in muscle force predictions which have significantly higher correlations with myoelectric activity than other linear and nonlinear optimal criteria. The results demonstrate that properly constrained linear programming methods do not limit the number of active muscles and allow for uniform recruitment of the active muscles.
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