Effects of gait training with a cane and an augmented pressure sensor for enhancement of weight bearing over the affected lower limb in patients with stroke

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of gait training when using a cane with an augmented pressure sensor for enhancement of weight-bearing over the affected lower limb on the peak pressure force of the cane, muscle activation, and gait in patients with stroke. Subjects in the experimental group took part in gait training with auditory feedback for 30 minutes, five times a week for four weeks, whereas those in the control group were given gait training without auditory feedback for the same amount of time. The peak force of cane, muscle activation of gluteus medius, and vastus medialis oblique, single limb support phase of the affected leg, and gait speed prior to and following training were collected. Significant improvement in the peak force of cane, muscle activation of gluteus medius and vastus medialis oblique, single limb support phase of the affected leg, and gait speed were seen in the experimental group (13.5 ±9.5 cm/s) compared with the control group (3.7 ±8.4 cm/s) (p < 0.05).

Gait training that uses a cane with an augmented pressure sensor to enhance weight bearing over the affected lower limb is of benefit and effective in improving the peak force of cane, muscle activation, and gait in stroke patients.

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