Altered Trunk Position Sense and Its Relation to Balance Functions in People Post-Stroke.

Ryerson, Susan;  Byl, Nancy N.;  Brown, David A.;  Wong, Rita A.;  Hidler, Joseph M.

The objective of this study was to determine whether trunk position sense is impaired in people with poststroke hemiparesis. Twenty subjects with chronic stroke and 21 nonneurologically impaired subjects participated in the study.  Trunk repositioning error during sitting forward flexion movements was assessed using an electromagnetic movement analysis system. Subjects post-stroke were also evaluated with clinical measures of balance, postural control , and extremity motor impairment severity.  There were significant differences in absolute trunk repositioning error between stroke and control groups in both the sagittal and transverse planes. There was a significant negative correlation between sagittal plane absolute repositioning error and the Berg Balance Scale score, transverse plane absolute repositioning error and Berg Balance Scale score, and transverse plane repositioning error and the Postural Assessment Scale for Stroke score.

Subjects with poststroke hemiparesis exhibit greater trunk repositioning error than age-matched controls. Trunk position sense retraining, emphasizing sagittal and transverse movements, should be further investigated as a potential poststroke intervention strategy to improve trunk balance and control.

Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy, 2008, 32(1), 14-20.

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