The objective of this study was to compare the effects of conventional over-ground gait training with treadmill training on the restoration of gait in people with hemiparesis following a stroke. Twenty-five individuals in the early stages of rehabilitation were alternately assigned to one of two treatment groups. In addition to conventional physical therapy, the experimental group participated in 15 treadmill-training sessions in which a handrail was used for external support. The control group received the same number of equal length sessions of over-ground ambulation. Treatment effects were established by pre- and posttreatment assessment of: 1) functional walking ability, 2) walking speed, 3) stride length, 4) temporal characteristics of gait, and 5) electromyographic activity of calf muscles. Normal values were obtained from eight healthy individuals of approximately the same age as the stroke survivors. The study demonstrates that individuals following a stroke are well able to tolerate treadmill training in the early stage of their rehabilitation process without the use of a weight support apparatus. Furthermore, the findings suggest that treadmill training may be more effective than conventional gait training for improving some gait parameters such as functional ambulation, stride length, percentage of paretic single stance period, and gastrocnemius muscular activity.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development|
|State||Published - 2001|
ASJC Scopus subject areas