Author(s): Yang F, Bhatt T, Pai YC
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Abstract The purposes of the study were to determine (1) whether treadmill-slip training could reduce the likelihood of falls during a novel slip in over-ground walking, and (2) to what extent such (indirect) training would be comparable to (direct) over-ground-slip training. A treadmill-slip training group (Group A, n=17) initially experienced repeated perturbations on treadmill intended to simulate forward-slip in over-ground walking. Perturbation continued and its intensity reduced when necessary to ensure subjects' successful adaptation (i.e., when they could land their trailing foot ahead of the slipping foot in at least 3 of 5 consecutive trials). They then experienced a novel slip during over-ground walking. Another 17 young adults in Group B experienced an identical novel slip that served as the controls. They then underwent more slip trials during over-ground walking. Their 16th slip trial was analyzed to represent the over-ground-slip training effect. Eight subjects (47\%) in Group A fell upon their first treadmill slip, while all adapted successfully after a minimum of 15 slip trials. Upon the novel slip during over-ground walking, none of them fell in comparison to four subjects (23.5\%) fell in Group B upon the same trial (p<0.05). Group A's control of stability, both proactive and reactive, was significantly better than that of Group B's on their first over-ground slip, while the level of improvement in the control of stability derived from indirect treadmill training was not as strong as that from direct over-ground-slip training, as demonstrated in Group B's 16th slip trial (p<0.001). These results clearly demonstrated the feasibility of fall reduction through treadmill-slip training. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Biomech
and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation