Author(s): Polese JC, TeixeiraSalmela LF, Nascimento LR, Faria CD, Kirkwood RN,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: There are robust clinical paradigms against the prescription of walking sticks for people with stroke. However, there is little information on the biomechanics of gait with and without these devices to guide clinical practice. Therefore, this study investigated how the use of walking sticks (canes or crutches) affected both the kinematics and kinetics of gait in people with chronic stroke after their walking had stabilized. METHODS: Nineteen people with chronic stroke walked at both comfortable and fast speeds. A 3-D motion analysis system and one force platform were used to obtain kinematic and kinetic data of the paretic lower limb during four conditions: With and without walking sticks, and at comfortable and fast speeds. Outcomes included linear kinematics (walking speeds) and angular kinematics (maximum joint angles), power, and work of the paretic hip, knee and ankle joints in the saggital plane. FINDINGS: The use of walking sticks resulted in increases in speed during both fast (P<0.001) and comfortable (P=0.001) walking, but did not result in changes in maximum joint angles. This also led to increases in ankle plantar flexion (P<0.01), knee extension (P<0.01), and hip flexion (P<0.001) power generation, but did not result in changes in work. There were no greater changes as a result of using walking sticks during fast versus comfortable walking for any outcome. INTERPRETATIN: The outcomes with the use of walking sticks were beneficial, which suggests that the prescription of these devices is not detrimental to walking that was stabilized in people with stroke. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon)
and referenced in Journal of Novel Physiotherapies