Volume 52 Number 1, 2015
Pages 77 — 84
Abstract — Poststroke motor control is characterized by greatly reduced muscle power generation. To date, the extent to which muscle power limits walking performance or whether its remediation should be a primary component of locomotor rehabilitation has yet to be established. The purpose of this study was to examine the feasibility and the effects of Poststroke Optimization of Walking using Explosive Resistance training, an intervention aimed at improving poststroke muscular and locomotor function. Twelve subjects (6–60 mo poststroke) participated in 24 training sessions (3 sessions/wk for 8 wk). Exercises included leg press, calf raises, and jump training, all performed at high concentric velocity, as well as trials of fast walking. We measured self-selected and fastest comfortable walking speeds as well as knee extensor and plantar flexor strength and power at pretraining, posttraining, and 8 wk follow-up time points. In addition, we also performed a number of clinical assessments commonly used in poststroke rehabilitation trials. Following training, significant improvements in lower-limb muscle strength and power were realized and accompanied by improvements in self-selected as well as fastest comfortable walking speeds. No changes in clinical assessments resulted from training.
Key words: exercise, locomotion, locomotor function, muscle, optimization of walking, poststroke, rehabilitation, strengthening, stroke, walking.
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Last Reviewed or Updated Tuesday, May 5, 2015 10:50 AM