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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 270676, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/270676
Research Article

Change of Muscle Architecture following Body Weight Support Treadmill Training for Persons after Subacute Stroke: Evidence from Ultrasonography

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China

Received 3 December 2013; Revised 30 January 2014; Accepted 14 February 2014; Published 24 March 2014

Academic Editor: Xiaoling Hu

Copyright © 2014 Peng Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Although the body weight support treadmill training (BWSTT) in rehabilitation therapy has been appreciated for a long time, the biomechanical effects of this training on muscular system remain unclear. Ultrasonography has been suggested to be a feasible method to measure muscle morphological changes after neurological diseases such as stroke, which may help to enhance the understanding of the mechanism underlying the impaired motor function. This study investigated the muscle architectural changes of tibialis anterior and medial gastrocnemius in patients after subacute stroke by ultrasound. As expected, we found the effect of BWSTT on the muscular system. Specifically, the results showed larger pennation angle and muscle thickness of tibialis anterior and longer fascicle length of medial gastrocnemius after the training. The findings of this study suggest that the early rehabilitation training of BWSTT in subacute stage of stroke provides positive changes of the muscle architecture, leading to the potential improvement of the force generation of the muscle. This may not only help us understand changes of subacute stroke in muscular system but also have clinical implications in the evaluation of rehabilitation training after neurological insults.