Varied movement errors drive learning of dynamic balance control during walking in people with incomplete spinal cord injury: a pilot study

Jui Te Lin, Chao Jung Hsu, Weena Dee, David Chen, W. Zev Rymer, Ming Wu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine whether the application of a varied pelvis perturbation force would improve dynamic balance control and gait stability of people with incomplete spinal cord injury (iSCI). Fourteen participants with iSCI completed the test in two conditions, i.e., walking paired with pelvis perturbation force and treadmill walking only, with 1-week interval in between. The order of the testing condition was randomized across participants. For the pelvis pertubation condition, subjects walked on a treadmill with no force for 1 min, with a varied pelvis perturbation force that was bilaterally applied in the medial–lateral direction for 10 min, without force for 1 min, and then with the perturbation for another 10 min after a sitting break. For the treadmill only condition, a protocol that was similar to the perturbation condition was used but no force was applied. Margin of stability (MoS), weight shifting, and other spatiotemporal gait parameters were calculated. Compared to treadmill training only, participants showed significant smaller MoS and double-leg support time after treadmill walking with pelvis perturbation. In addition, participants showed significantly greater improvements in overground walking speed after treadmill walking with pelvis perturbation than treadmill only (p = 0.021). Results from this study suggest that applying a varied pelvis perturbation force during treadmill walking could improve dynamic balance control in people with iSCI, which could be transferred to overground walking. These findings may be used to develop a new intervention to improve balance and walking function in people with iSCI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)981-993
Number of pages13
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Volume238
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

Keywords

  • Dynamic balance control
  • Gait
  • Gait stability
  • Movement errors
  • Pelvis perturbation
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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