Title

Dynamic balance during walking adaptability tasks in individuals post-stroke

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-6-2018

Subject Area

ARRAY(0x55699a7a69b8)

Abstract

Maintaining dynamic balance during community ambulation is a major challenge post-stroke. Community ambulation requires performance of steady-state level walking as well as tasks that require walking adaptability. Prior studies on balance control post-stroke have mainly focused on steady-state walking, but walking adaptability tasks have received little attention. The purpose of this study was to quantify and compare dynamic balance requirements during common walking adaptability tasks post-stroke and in healthy adults and identify differences in underlying mechanisms used for maintaining dynamic balance. Kinematic data were collected from fifteen individuals with post-stroke hemiparesis during steady-state forward and backward walking, obstacle negotiation, and step-up tasks. In addition, data from ten healthy adults provided the basis for comparison. Dynamic balance was quantified using the peak-to-peak range of whole-body angular-momentum in each anatomical plane during the paretic, nonparetic and healthy control single-leg-stance phase of the gait cycle. To understand differences in some of the key underlying mechanisms for maintaining dynamic balance, foot placement and plantarflexor muscle activation were examined. Individuals post-stroke had significant dynamic balance deficits in the frontal plane across most tasks, particularly during the paretic single-leg-stance. Frontal plane balance deficits were associated with wider paretic foot placement, elevated body center-of-mass, and lower soleus activity. Further, the obstacle negotiation task imposed a higher balance requirement, particularly during the trailing leg single-stance. Thus, improving paretic foot placement and ankle plantarflexor activity, particularly during obstacle negotiation, may be important rehabilitation targets to enhance dynamic balance during post-stroke community ambulation.

Publication Title

Journal of Biomechanics

Volume

74

First Page

106

Last Page

115

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1016/j.jbiomech.2018.04.029

PubMed ID

29724539

ISSN

00219290

E-ISSN

18732380

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