Repeat exposure to leg swing perturbations during treadmill training induces long-term retention of increased step length in human SCI

Ming Wu*, Jill M. Landry, Janis Kim, Brian D. Schmit, Sheng Che Yen, Jillian McDonald, Yunhui Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective To determine whether repeat exposure to force perturbations during treadmill training can induce long-term retention of improved step length and overall improvements in locomotor function in persons with spinal cord injury. Design Fourteen patients with spinal cord injury were recruited and randomly assigned to swing resistance or swing assistance training groups. A controlled swing resistance or assistance force, for resistance or assistance training groups, respectively, was applied to both legs through a cable-driven robotic system during treadmill training. Each participant trained 3 times per week for 6 weeks. Step length, walking speed, 6-minute walking distance, and other clinical assessments were evaluated before and after 6 weeks of training and 8 weeks after the end of training. Results A significant increase in step length was observed after 6 weeks of resistance training (P = 0.04). Step length tended to increase after assistance treadmill training, but the change was not significant (P = 0.18). The changes in step length and functional gains had no significant difference between 2 groups. Conclusions Repeat exposure to swing resistance during treadmill training may induce a prolonged retention of increased step length, although it remains unclear whether swing resistance versus assistance is more effective in inducing increased step length.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)911-920
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Volume95
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

Keywords

  • Force Perturbation
  • Locomotion
  • Motor Adaptation
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Treadmill Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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