Swing Phase Resistance Enhances Flexor Muscle Activity During Treadmill Locomotion in Incomplete Spinal Cord InjuryBy Lam, Tania; Wirz, Markus; Lunenburger, Lars; Dietz, Volker; Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, Vol. 22, No. 5, pp. 438-446
Publication Date: September/October 2008
Study investigated the effect of loading the legs during the swing phase of walking on flexor muscle activity in ambulatory patients with incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI). Nine patients receiving physical therapy in a hospital setting following incomplete SCI participated in the study. Participants, of whom 4 were female, ranged in age from 46 to 73 years. Participants had surface electromyography (EMG) and joint kinematics recorded from the lower extremities during treadmill walking. Swing-phase loading of the legs was achieved by weights attached to each lower extremity which were progressively increased from 1 to 3 kilograms, or by a velocity-dependent resistance applied by the Lokomat robotic gait orthosis. When participants walked with the weights, there was a consistent increase in the activity of the knee flexors, and sometimes of hip or ankle flexor activity, during swing. Similarly, when the Lokomat applied the velocity-dependent resistance during walking, swing-phase flexor EMG activity tended to be greater. Enhanced knee flexion was observed in all patients after the weights or the robot-generated resistance was removed. Study results indicate that flexor muscle activity during swing can be enhanced through resistance, with brief aftereffects, in patients with incomplete SCI. Study limitations and implications for future research are discussed.
Assistive Products Discussed: LOKOMATPRO (VERSIONS 5 & 6)
Published by: Sage Publications (Website:http://www.sagepub.com)
American Society of Neurorehabilitation (Web Site: http://www.asnr.com )
Link to text: http://nnr.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/22/5/438
This publication is included in the library of the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC), accession number J55327