Device Use, Locomotor Training and the Presence of Arm Swing During Treadmill Walking After Spinal Cord InjuryBy Tester, N.J.; Howland, D.R.; Day, K.V.; Suter, S.P.; Cantrell, A.; Behrman, A.L.; Spinal Cord, Vol. 49, No. 3, pp. 451-456
Publication Date: March 2011
Study undertaken to determine the presence of walking related arm swing after spinal cord injury, its associated factors, and whether arm swing may change after locomotor training (LT). Associated factors investigated included neurological level of impairment, voluntary leg and arm strength, walking independence, and use of assistive devices including wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, and canes. Participants were 30 patients with motor incomplete spinal cord injury (iSCI) and a mean age of 40 years, 8 of whom were female and 21 of whom underwent LT. Arm movement was assessed during treadmill stepping pre-LT. Partial body weight support and manual trainer assistance were provided, as needed, to achieve stepping and allow arm swing. Arm swing presence was compared on the basis of cervical versus thoracic neurological levels of impairment and assistive device type used. Leg and arm strength and walking independence were compared between individuals with and without arm swing. Arm swing was reevaluated post-LT in the participants who underwent LT. Twelve participants demonstrated arm swing during treadmill stepping, pre-LT. Arm movement was associated with device type, lower extremity motor scores, and walking independence. The difference between the presence of arm swing among individuals using assistive devices promoting versus restricting reciprocal arm swing was significant. This suggests that those using no device, a cane, or crutches were more likely to demonstrate arm movement during treadmill stepping than were those using wheelchairs or walkers. Among participants who received LT, only 5 demonstrated arm swing pre-LT. Of the 16 participants lacking arm swing pre-LT, 8 integrated arm swing post-LT.
Published by: Nature Publishing Group (Website:http://www.nature.com)
International Spinal Cord Injury Society (Web Site: http://www.iscos.org.uk )
This publication is included in the library of the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC), accession number J60826