Table of Contents
ISRN Rehabilitation
Volume 2013, Article ID 929758, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/929758
Clinical Study

Gait Performance and Lower-Limb Muscle Strength Improved in Both Upper-Limb and Lower-Limb Isokinetic Training Programs in Individuals with Chronic Stroke

1Centre de Recherche sur le Vieillissement, École de Réadaptation, Faculté de Médecine et des Sciences de la Santé, Université de Sherbrooke, 1036 Belvédère sud, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada J1H 4C4
2Institut de Réadaptation Gingras-Lindsay-de-Montréal, Centre de Recherche Interdisciplinaire en Réadaptation (CRIR), Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128 Succ. Centre-Ville, Montréal, QC, Canada H3S 1M9

Received 5 March 2013; Accepted 4 April 2013

Academic Editors: A. Danielsson, B. Dugue, K. Hashimoto, A. Ozcan Edeer, and C. I. Renner

Copyright © 2013 Marie-Hélène Milot 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

Background. Limited improvement in gait performance has been noted after training despite a significant increase in strength of the affected lower-limb muscles after stroke. A mismatch between the training program and the requirements of gait could explain this finding. Objective. To compare the impact of a training program, matching the requirements of the muscle groups involved in the energy generation of gait, to a control intervention, on gait performance and strength. Methods. 30 individuals with chronic stroke were randomly assigned into two groups (n = 15), each training three times/week for six weeks. The experimental group trained the affected plantarflexors, hip flexors, and extensors, while the control group trained the upper-limb muscles. Baseline and posttraining values of gait speed, positive power (muscles’ concentric action during gait), and strength were retained and compared between groups. Results. After training, both groups showed a similar and significant increase in gait speed, positive power of the hip muscles, and plantarflexors strength. Conclusion. A training program targeting the lower-limb muscles involved in the energy generation of gait did not lead to a greater improvement in gait performance and strength than a training program of the upper-limb muscles. Attending the training sessions might have been a sufficient stimulus to generate gains in the control group.