Date of Award
Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
Stroke -- rehabilitation; Exercise Therapy -- methods
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate individuals who are status post stroke during ambulation over ground, on a treadmill without support, and on a treadmill with partial body weight support (PBWS) to determine if there are any differences in muscle activation of major muscle groups in the lower extremity.
Subjects: Two subjects were recruited for this study. Subjects were included if they were over the age of 50 years, could fulfill a two-hour time commitment, and walk independently with or without the use of an assistive device. Subjects were excluded if they have had surgery or an existing orthopedic involvement of the lower extremities.
Instrumentation: Sensor surface electrodes were used to pick up electromyography (EMG) activity. EMG activity was collected and final data is presented as percent of normalized EMG activity as an average of four to five gait cycles for each of the support trials.
Procedure: Consent forms were reviewed and signed by each participant. Electrodes and a heel switch were placed on the involved lower extremity. Subjects performed two trial walks over level ground. Subjects also performed three treadmill ambulation conditions in random order: ambulation on the treadmill without a harness (trm), ambulation on the treadmill with a harness and no body weight support (trmh), and ambulation on the treadmill with a harness and PBWS of 15% (trms). Subjects ambulated for two minutes and EMG activity was recorded for 30 seconds at the end of each minute during each trial condition.
Data Analysis: The mean EMG activity of the second trial for all ambulation conditions was calculated for both stance and swing phases of each subject. Descriptive statistics were then used to compare muscle activation across conditions, as well as rank EMG mean muscle activity for each trial condition from highest to lowest.
Results: EMG rankings were inconsistent across conditions, but both subjects had the least gastrocnemius activity during the trms condition.
Conclusion and Clinical Implication: There were no major findings or trends to suggest differences or similarities in muscle activation between any of the conditions for either subject. Therefore, further research is needed.
Breitbach, Rhonda L.; Malmin, Kelly L.; Nordmark, Beth M.; and Pederson, Jennifer A., "Muscle Activation in Individuals Who are Status-Post a Stroke during Over Ground, Treadmill, and Body Weight Supported Gait: A Comparative Study" (2006). Physical Therapy Scholarly Projects. 66.