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Effects of Treadmill Inclination on Hemiparetic Gait

Controlled and Randomized Clinical Trial

Gama, Gabriela Lopes MD; de Lucena Trigueiro, Larissa Coutinho MD; Simão, Camila Rocha MD; de Sousa, Angélica Vieira Cavalcanti MD; de Souza e Silva, Emília Marcia Gomes PT; Galvão, Élida Rayanne Viana Pinheiro PT; Lindquist, Ana Raquel Rodrigues PhD

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: September 2015 - Volume 94 - Issue 9 - p 718–727
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000240
Original Research Articles

Objective The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of inclined treadmill training on the kinematic characteristics of gait in subjects with hemiparesis.

Design A blind, randomized, controlled study was conducted with 28 subjects divided into two groups: the control group, submitted to partial body weight–support treadmill gait training with no inclination, and the experimental group, which underwent partial body weight–support treadmill training at 10% of inclination. All volunteers were assessed for functional independence, motor function, balance, and gait before and after the 12 training sessions.

Results Both groups showed posttraining alterations in balance (P < 0.001), motor function (P < 0.001), and functional independence (P = 0.002). Intergroup differences in spatiotemporal differences were observed, where only the experimental group showed posttraining alterations in velocity (P = 0.02) and paretic step length (P = 0.03). Angular variables showed no significant differences in either group.

Conclusions In subjects with hemiparesis, the addition of inclination is a stimulus capable of enhancing the effects of partial body weight–support treadmill gait training.

From the Department of Physical Therapy, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Brazil.

All correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to: Ana Raquel Rodrigues Lindquist, PhD, Department of Physical Therapy, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Av. Senador Salgado Filho, 3000, Natal/RN 59072-970, Brazil.

Financial disclosure statements have been obtained, and no conflicts of interest have been reported by the authors or by any individuals in control of the content of this article.

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