Document Type: Original Articles

Authors

1 Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Paramedical Sciences, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Paramedical Sciences, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

Abstract

Background: Gait disorder is a common motor complication after stroke. Studies have revealed that conventional physiotherapy cannot manage this disorder efficiently; therefore, more studies regarding efficient treatment protocols are crucial. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of compelled weight-bearing approach on muscle activation patterns during walking in individuals with stroke.Methods: 24 hemiparetic patients participated in this study. Patients were randomly divided into 2 groups: experimental and control.  The experimental group received increased weight bearing on the paretic leg via a shoe lift in addition to physical therapy for 6 weeks. The control group received only physical therapy. Laboratory assessments included weight-bearing symmetry ratio and electromyographic parameters recored from the medial gastrocnemius, tibialis anterior, rectus femoris and biceps femoris. The amplitude and duration of electromyographic activity for each subject was then calculated during the stance and swing phases of their gait cycle. All measurements were compared within and between groups after the termination of treatment.Results: After treatment, weight-bearing symmetry ratio improved significantly in the experimental group. Additionally, the electromyographic activity of paretic medial gastrocnemius increased significantly during the stance phase while activity duration of paretic rectus femoris decreased significantly in swing phase. In the control group, the weight-bearing symmetry ratio didn’t change significantly. Only activity duration of non-paretic rectus femoris decreased significantly in swing phase.Conclusions: The results show that compelled weight bearing on the paretic side improve amplitude and the timing for activity of some muscles in the lower limbs during walking.

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