Effects of intensive therapy using gait trainer or floor walking exercises early after stroke.

Peurala SH, Airaksinen O, Huuskonen P, Jäkälä P, Juhakoski M, Sandell K, Tarkka IM, Sivenius J

The objective of this study was to analyse the effects of gait therapy for patients after acute stroke.  Fifty-six patients with a mean of 8 days post-stroke participated in: (i) gait trainer exercise; (ii) walking training over ground; or (iii) conventional treatment. Functional Ambulatory Category and several secondary outcome measures assessing gait and mobility were administered before and after rehabilitation and at 6-month follow-up.

Exercise therapy with walking training improved gait function irrespective of the method used, but the time and effort required to achieve the results favour the gait trainer exercise. Early intensive gait training resulted in better walking ability than did conventional treatment.

Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 2009, 41(3), 166-73

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