The shoulder-upper arm complex has the most mobile joint in the body and is composed of three main bones: the collarbone (clavicle), the shoulder blade (scapula), and the upper arm bone (humerus). The shoulder joint is a non-concentric ball and socket joint. It differs from the hip, a highly stabilized, concentric ball and socket joint, that is constrained mostly by its osseous anatomy. Thus, the shoulder has more flexibility and less inherent stability than the hip because it is mainly stabilized by muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The relative decrease in stability of the shoulder compared to other joints puts the shoulder at increase risk of damage by disease or injury. The constraints added by muscles, tendons, and ligaments make modeling of the shoulder a challenge task. This paper presents a multi rigid body model to describe dynamical properties of the scapulo-humeral-clavicle complex. The bones are represented by rigid bodies, and the soft tissues (tendons, ligaments and muscles) are represented by springs and actuators attached to the rigid bodies. The rigid bodies are connected by ideal kinematic joints and have fixed centers of gravity. Equations of motion of the multi rigid body model are derived via Kane’s methods. Combination of springs and actuators includes independent variables for both motion and constraint forces, the sum of which determine the activation level.

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