Format of Original
6 p.; 25 cm
Journal of Biomechanics
Chronic stroke survivors have an increased incidence of falls during walking, suggesting changes in dynamic balance control post-stroke. Despite this increased incidence of falls during walking, balance control is often studied only in standing. The purpose of this study was to quantify deficits in dynamic balance control during walking, and to evaluate the influence of visual feedback on this control in stroke survivors. Ten individuals with chronic stroke, and ten neurologically intact individuals participated in this study. Walking performance was assessed while participants walked on an instrumented split-belt treadmill with different types of visual feedback. Dynamic balance control was quantified using both the extent of center of mass (COM) movement in the frontal plane over a gait cycle (COM sway), and base of support (step width). Stroke survivors walked with larger COM sway and wider step widths compared to controls. Despite these baseline differences, both groups walked with a similar ratio of step width to COM sway (SW/COM). Providing a stationary target with a laser reference of body movement reduced COM sway only in the stroke group, indicating that visual feedback of sway alters dynamic balance control post-stroke. These results demonstrate that stroke survivors attempt to maintain a similar ratio of step width to COM movement, and visual cues can be used to help control COM movement during walking post-stroke.
Walker, Eric R.; Hyngstrom, Allison S.; and Schmit, Brian D., "Influence of Visual Feedback On Dynamic Balance Control in Chronic Stroke Survivors" (2016). Physical Therapy Faculty Research and Publications. 91.