Stroke is one of the main causes of adult disability in most countries. People living with stroke present several sensorimotor deficits such as contralateral and ipsilateral muscular weakness, contralateral spasticity, lack of coordination, contralateral impaired sensitivity, and impaired balance. These sensorimotor deficits are heterogeneous among individuals post stroke and vary according to the size and location of the lesion. After a rehabilitation program, about 11% of individuals post stroke walked with assistance whereas 50% walked independently. In addition to the reduced walking speed, these ambulatory individuals present a gait pattern often characterized by asymmetries in spatial and temporal parameters. Walking speed has been shown as an excellent indicator of functional status and quality of life. However, recent studies suggested that the level of asymmetry in different gait parameters could be more relevant than walking speed to understand the degree of paretic leg impairment and the compensatory mechanisms used by individuals post stroke during locomotion. Furthermore, these persons are preoccupied by these asymmetries and want to walk ânormallyâ. One of their main objectives is to present the appearance of a normal gait pattern. Therefore, rehabilitation professionals devote a significant portion of their interventions to restoring a more symmetrical gait pattern. Until now, the causes of spatiotemporal asymmetry and its impacts on functional status in individuals post stroke have not been clearly established. This could explain the mitigated efficacy of intervention in reducing gait asymmetry in this population.
Understanding Spatial and Temporal Gait Asymmetries in Individuals Post Stroke: Selena Lauziere, Martina Betschart, Rachid Aissaoui and Sylvie Nadeau
Last date updated on June, 2014