Logo for the Journal of Rehab R&D
Volume 45 Number 2, 2008
Pages 221 — 228

Abstract - Effect of treadmill exercise training on spatial and temporal gait parameters in subjects with chronic stroke: A preliminary report

Shawnna L. Patterson, MD, PhD;1-2 Mary M. Rodgers, PhD, PT;3 Richard F. Macko, MD;1-2,4 Larry W. Forrester, PhD1,3-4*

1Baltimore Department of Veterans Affairs (VAMC) Medical Center Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Baltimore, MD; 2Department of Neurology, Baltimore VAMC, Baltimore, MD; Departments of 3Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science and 4Neurology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

Abstract — The effects of task-repetitive locomotor training on stroke patients' spatial and temporal gait parameters during unassisted walking are not well understood. This study determined the effects of treadmill aerobic exercise (T-EX) on spatial and temporal gait parameters that underlie changes in overground walking function. Thirty-nine subjects with hemiparetic stroke underwent T-EX three times weekly for 6 months. We measured the subjects pre- and posttraining on 30-foot timed walks and 6-minute distance walks with usual assistive devices and on an 8 m instrumented walkway without assistive devices. T-EX improved 30-foot walks by 17% and 6-minute walks by 23%. Unassisted walking velocity increased 22%, stride length increased 13%, and cadence increased 7%. Paretic and nonparetic step lengths increased significantly, and respective step times decreased significantly. Interlimb symmetry did not change. This study presents preliminary evidence that changes in spatial and temporal gait parameters contribute to the increased velocity of subjects with stroke after T-EX.

Key words: cadence, exercise, function, gait, hemiparesis, rehabilitation, stride length, stroke, symmetry, treadmill, velocity.


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