The objective of this study was to evaluate, using kinematic gait analysis, the results obtained from gait training on a treadmill with body weight support versus those obtained with conventional gait training and physiotherapy. Thirty patients with sequelae from traumatic incomplete spinal cord injuries at least 12 months earlier; patients were able to walk and were classified according to motor function as ASIA (American Spinal Injury Association) impairment scale C or D. Patients were divided randomly into two groups of 15 patients by the drawing of opaque envelopes: group A (weight support) and group B (conventional). After an initial assessment, both groups underwent 30 sessions of gait training. Sessions occurred twice a week, lasted for 30 min each and continued for four months. All of the patients were evaluated by a single blinded examiner using movement analysis to measure angular and linear kinematic gait parameters. Six patients (three from group A and three from group B) were excluded because they attended fewer than 85% of the training sessions. There were no statistically significant differences in intra-group comparisons among the spatial-temporal variables in group B. In group A, the following significant differences in the studied spatial-temporal variables were observed: increases in velocity, distance, cadence, step length, swing phase and gait cycle duration, in addition to a reduction in stance phase. There were also no significant differences in intra-group comparisons among the angular variables in group B. However, group A achieved significant improvements in maximum hip extension and plantar flexion during stance.
Gait training with body weight support was more effective than conventional physiotherapy for improving the spatial-temporal and kinematic gait parameters among patients with incomplete spinal cord injuries.
Lucareli PR, Lima MO, Lima FP, de Almeida JG, Brech GC, D’Andréa Greve JM. Gait analysis following treadmill training with body weight support versus conventional physical therapy: a prospective randomized controlled single blind study. Spinal Cord. 2011 May 3;