Enhanced error facilitates motor learning in weight shift and increases use of the paretic leg during walking at chronic stage after stroke

Seoung Hoon Park, Chao Jung Hsu, Weena Dee, Elliot J. Roth, William Z. Rymer, Ming Wu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine whether the application of lateral pelvis pulling force toward the non-paretic side during the stance phase of the paretic leg would enhance forced use of the paretic leg and increase weight shift toward the paretic side in stroke survivors. Eleven chronic stroke survivors participated in two experimental sessions, which consisted of (1) treadmill walking with the application of “pelvis resistance” or “pelvis assistance” and (2) overground walking. During the treadmill walking, the laterally pulling force was applied during the stance phase of the paretic leg toward the non-paretic side for the “pelvis resistance” condition or toward the paretic side for the “pelvis assistance” condition during the stance phase of the paretic leg. After force release, the “pelvis resistance” condition exhibited greater enhancement in muscle activation of hip ABD, ADD, and SOL and greater improvement in lateral weight shift toward the paretic side, compared with the effect of the “pelvis assistance” condition (P < 0.03). This improved lateral weight shift was associated with the enhanced muscle activation of hip ABD and ADD (R2 = 0.67, P = 0.01). The pelvis resistance condition also improved overground walking speed and stance phase symmetry when measured 10 min after the treadmill walking (P = 0.004). In conclusion, applying pelvis resistance forces to increase error signals may facilitate motor learning of weight shift toward the paretic side and enhance use of the paretic leg in chronic stroke survivors. Results from this study may be utilized to develop an intervention approach to improve walking in stroke survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3327-3341
Number of pages15
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Volume239
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Keywords

  • Constraint-induced movement therapy
  • Forced use
  • Locomotion
  • Pelvis resistance
  • Stroke
  • Weight shift

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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