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Rehabilitation Research and Practice
Volume 2015, Article ID 241519, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/241519
Research Article

Effects of Functional Limb Overloading on Symmetrical Weight Bearing, Walking Speed, Perceived Mobility, and Community Participation among Patients with Chronic Stroke

1Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh 11952, Saudi Arabia
2Department of Physical Therapy & Health Rehabilitation, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Majmaah University, Al-Majmaah 11451, Saudi Arabia
3Department of Neurology & Neurosurgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi 110029, India

Received 19 May 2015; Revised 3 September 2015; Accepted 30 September 2015

Academic Editor: Ching-Yi Wu

Copyright © 2015 Sami S. Alabdulwahab 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. Stroke is a leading cause for long-term disability that often compromises the sensorimotor and gait function accompanied by spasticity. Gait abnormalities persist through the chronic stages of the condition and only a small percentage of these persons are able to walk functionally in the community. Material and Method. Patients with chronic stroke were recruited from outpatient rehabilitation unit at Department of Neurology & Neurosurgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, having a history of first stroke at least six months before recruitment, with unilateral motor deficits affecting gait. The patients were randomly assigned to either the functional limb overloading (FLO) or Limb Overloading Resistance Training (LORT) group and provided four weeks of training. Result. We found that there was an improvement in gait performance, weight bearing on affected limb, and perceived mobility and community participation. Conclusion. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that has evaluated the effects of functional limb overloading training on symmetric weight bearing, walking ability, and perceived mobility and participation in chronic hemiplegic population. The study demonstrated a beneficial effect of training on all the outcomes, suggesting that the functional limb overloading training can be a useful tool in the management of gait problems in chronic stroke patients.