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Open AccessArticle

The Effect of a Low-Cost Body Weight-Supported Treadmill Trainer on Walking Speed and Joint Motion

1
Kinesiology Department, Gordon College, Wenham, MA 01984, USA
2
School of Physical Therapy, MCPHS University, Worcester, MA 01608, USA
3
Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Medicina 2019, 55(8), 420; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55080420
Received: 6 June 2019 / Revised: 10 July 2019 / Accepted: 24 July 2019 / Published: 30 July 2019
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Abstract

Background and Objectives: Gait training with body weight-support has been shown to improve the walking speed of individuals with movement disorders. The AccesSportAmerica Gait Trainer is a low-cost, pre-market gait rehabilitation device that alters the stride characteristics of participants walking on a standard treadmill. The purpose of this study was to examine the biomechanical outcomes that training on this device has for people with brain injuries that affect motor functioning. It was hypothesized that there would be an increase in walking speed post-intervention, and that there would be an increase in step length and joint range-of-motion. Materials and Methods: An intervention study was conducted with 11 people with ambulatory difficulty caused by post-stroke hemiparesis (n = 7), traumatic brain injury (n = 3), and cerebral palsy (n = 1). The average time using the AccesSportAmerica Gait Trainer was 34.5 (SD = 6.0) minutes per session for 36.9 (SD = 21.8) sessions. Gait speed, step length and time, and joint flexion were measured during the 10 Meter Walk Test. Results: From pre- to post-intervention, there was a mean increase in walking speed of 0.19 m/s (SD = 0.06, p = 0.016, d = 0.40) and a decrease in step time of both affected and unaffected legs (affected: p = 0.011, d = 0.37; unaffected: p = 0.004, d = 0.67). There was no significant change in stride length or joint angles. Conclusions: The AccesSportAmerica Gait Trainer has the potential to improve the walking speed of people with ambulatory difficulty. View Full-Text
Keywords: rehabilitation; gait training; assistive technology; brain injury rehabilitation; gait training; assistive technology; brain injury
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Ventura, J.D.; Charrette, A.L.; Roberts, K.J. The Effect of a Low-Cost Body Weight-Supported Treadmill Trainer on Walking Speed and Joint Motion. Medicina 2019, 55, 420.

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