Gait Training Combining Partial Body-Weight Support, a Treadmill, and Functional Electrical Stimulation: Effects on Poststroke Gait

Ana RR Lindquist, Christiane L Prado, Ricardo ML Barros, Rosana Mattioli, Paula H Lobo da Costa and Tania F Salvini

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of the combined use of FES and treadmill training with body-weight support (BWS) on walking functions and voluntary limb control in people with chronic hemiparesis.  Eight people who were ambulatory after chronic stroke were evaluated in an A1-B-A2 single-case study design. Phases A1 and A2 included 3 weeks of gait training on a treadmill with BWS, and phase B included 3 weeks of treadmill training plus FES applied to the peroneal nerve. The Stroke Rehabilitation Assessment of Movement was used to assess motor recovery, and a videography analysis was used to assess gait parameters.  The results showed an improvement in motor function, spatial and temporal variables cycle duration, stance duration, and cadence as well as cycle length symmetry  during phase B.  The authors conclude that the combined use of FES and treadmill training with BWS led to an improvement in motor recovery and seemed to improve the gait pattern of subjects with hemiparesis, indicating the utility of this combination method during gait rehabilitation.

Physical Therapy, 2007, 87(9), 1144-1154

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