Light Touch Cue Through a Cane Improves Pelvic Stability During Walking in StrokeBy Boonsinsukh, Rumpa; Panichareon, Lawan; Phansuwan-Pujito, Pansiri; Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vol. 90, No. 6, pp. 919-926
Publication Date: June 2009
Study examined the effect of a light touch cue provided through a cane on mediolateral (ML) pelvic stability during walking in stroke. A light touch cue is defined as somatosensory information from the fingertip, obtained by lightly touching an object, which could potentially help in the control of posture. Study participants were 39 sub-acute patients with stroke, with a mean age of 59.6 years and a mean stroke duration of 46.8 days. Participants were instructed to walk at a comfortable pace across a 7-meter walkway while holding an adjustable-height cane outfitted with a force sensor in the non-paretic hand. Two methods of cane use, light touch contact and force contact, were tested. Main outcome measures were ML pelvic stability as measured by averaged peak-to-peak pelvic acceleration, muscle activation of bilateral tensor fascia latae (TFL), semitendinosus (ST), and vastus medialis (VM), using an electromyography system; and vertical cane force measured in newtons (N). Results showed the average amount of cane force during touch contact and force contact was 2.3N and 49.3N, respectively. A light touch cue through a cane was required only when the paretic leg accepted the body weight, and this cue can provide ML pelvic stability during walking to the same degree as the force contact method; however, significant increases in single-limb support duration with higher activations of TFL, VM, and ST muscles on the paretic leg were found during the paretic stance phase when using a cane in the touch-contact fashion.
Published by: W.B. Saunders Company, a division of Elsevier Health Sciences (Website:http://us.elsevierhealth.com)
American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Web Site: http://www.aapmr.org/ )
American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (Web Site: http://www.acrm.org )
Link to text: http://www.archives-pmr.org/article/S0003-9993(09)00188-9