Objective: Children with a neuromuscular disease are prone to early muscular fatigue. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effects of fatigue induced by a walking exercise on the strength, postural control, and gait of children with a neuromuscular disease.
Design: Maximal isometric knee strength (extension and flexion), quiet standing postural control, and gait were evaluated in 12 children (8.8 [1.4] yrs) with a neuromuscular disease before and after a walking exercise. The participants were asked to stop walking when they considered themselves “very fatigued.”
Results: After the exercise-induced fatigue, a significant increase in range of motion in pelvis obliquity, hip abduction and adduction, and ankle flexion and extension during gait was reported along with an increase in stride length variability. Fatigue also reduced the knee flexor strength and had a detrimental effect on postural control.
Conclusions: Fatigue affects the strength, postural control, and gait of children with a neuromuscular disease and could notably increase the risks of falling and the occurrence of serious injuries.