Pediatric Physical Therapy

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Pediatric Physical Therapy:
doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e318227b737
Research Article

Evaluation of Lower Body Positive Pressure Supported Treadmill Training for Children With Cerebral Palsy

Kurz, Max J. PhD; Corr, Brad DPT; Stuberg, Wayne PT, PhD, PCS; Volkman, Kathleen G. PT, MS, NCS; Smith, Nina DPT

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Abstract

Purpose: To examine the feasibility of using lower body positive pressure supported (LBPPS) treadmill training to improve the walking abilities, balance and lower extremity strength of children with cerebral palsy (CP).

Methods: Nine children with CP (GMFCS II-IV) participated in LBPPS treadmill training 2 days per week for 6 weeks. Pre and post training measures of preferred walking speed, spatiotemporal kinematics, lower extremity strength, and the BESTest were used to assess potential improvements from LBPPS treadmill training.

Results: LBPPS treadmill training resulted in significantly faster walking speed, less time in double support, improved overall balance, and strength of the lower extremity antigravity musculature.

Conclusions: It is feasible to use LBPPS treadmill training to improve the walking performance, balance, and strength of children with CP.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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