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Vol. 22. Num. 6.01 November 2018
Pages 435-526
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Vol. 22. Num. 6.01 November 2018
Pages 435-526
Original Research
DOI: 10.1016/j.bjpt.2018.03.001
Strength of the lower limb and trunk muscles is associated with gait speed in individuals with sub-acute stroke: a cross-sectional study
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Larissa Tavares Aguiar, Ludimylla Brennar Alves Camargo, Lorena Dasdores Estarlino, Luci Fuscaldi Teixeira-Salmela, Christina Danielli Coelho de Morais Faria
Corresponding author
cdcmf@ufmg.br
chrismoraisf@gmail.com

Corresponding author at: Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Departamento de Fisioterapia, Avenida Antônio Carlos, 6627 – Campus Pampulha, CEP:31270-910 Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Departamento de Fisioterapia, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
Highlights

  • Lower limb and trunk muscle strength are associated with comfortable/maximum gait speed in patients with sub-acute stroke.

  • Non-paretic dorsiflexors and left trunk lateral flexors predict comfortable/maximum gait speed in sub-acute stroke.

  • The effects of strengthening in these muscles on post-stroke gait speed need more investigation.

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Tables (3)
Table 1. Clinical and demographic characteristics of the participants (n=44).
Table 2. Descriptive statistics and association coefficients (r values) between measures of strength of the lower limb and trunk muscles and comfortable/maximum gait speeds in individuals with sub-acute stroke.
Table 3. Results of the Step-wise multiple regression analyses regarding the predictors (strength of the lower limb and trunk muscles) of comfortable and maximum gait speeds in individuals with sub-acute stroke (n=44).
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Abstract
Objectives

To investigate the association between measures of strength of the lower limb and trunk muscles and gait speed and to identify the muscle group that would best predict gait speed in individuals with sub-acute stroke.

Methods

Using a cross-sectional observational study design, forty-four individuals with sub-acute stroke (62 years, SD=14; 4 months, SD=1 post-stroke) were assessed. The evaluations were performed at a university laboratory, participants’ homes, or community-based settings. Bilateral maximum isometric strength (hip, knee, and ankle flexors/extensors, hip abductors, trunk flexors/extensors, and trunk lateral flexors and rotators) was measured using a portable dynamometer. Comfortable and maximum gait speeds were measured using the 10-m walk test.

Results

Weak to moderate associations were found between measures of strength of the lower limb muscles and comfortable (0.36r0.53; p<0.05) and maximum (0.37r0.59; p<0.05) gait speeds, except for the non-paretic knee flexors and comfortable gait speed (p=0.06). Weak to moderate associations were also found between measures of strength of the trunk muscles and comfortable (0.39r0.50; p<0.05) and maximum (0.39r0.61; p<0.05) gait speeds. Stepwise multiple regression analyses revealed that the non-paretic dorsiflexors and the left lateral trunk flexors explained 29% and 42% of the variance in the maximum and comfortable gait speeds, respectively.

Conclusions

The strength of the lower limb and trunk muscles was positively associated with comfortable and maximum gait speeds. The muscle strength of the non-paretic dorsiflexors and the left lateral trunk flexors might have a role to play in determining comfortable and maximum gait speeds of individuals with sub-acute stroke.

Keywords:
Lower extremity
Torso
Muscle strength
Walking speed

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