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Vol. 22. Num. 3.
Pages 175-254 (01 May 2018)
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Vol. 22. Num. 3.
Pages 175-254 (01 May 2018)
Original Research
DOI: 10.1016/j.bjpt.2017.12.002
Trunk flexor and extensor muscle performance in chronic stroke patients: a case–control study
Ludmylla Ferreira Quintino, Juliane Franco, Amanda Ferreira Machado Gusmão, Paula Fernanda De Sousa Silva, Christina Danielli Coelho De Morais Faria
Corresponding author

Corresponding author at: Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Escola de Educação Física, Fisioterapia e Terapia Ocupacional, Departamento de Fisioterapia, Avenida Antônio Carlos, 6627, Campus Pampulha, CEP 31270-901, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Department of Physical Therapy, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil

  • Chronic stroke patients had decreased muscle trunk performance than matched-healthy subjects.

  • Trunk muscle work was impaired in chronic stroke patients.

  • Trunk muscle assessment and training should be considered in chronic stroke patients.

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Figures (1)
Tables (3)
Table 1. Demographic and clinical characteristics of participants and statistical results of the comparisons between chronic stroke patients (n=18) and healthy matched subjects (n=18) used to determine flexor & extensor concentric muscle strength.
Table 2. Descriptive statistics results, mean (SD) of trunk muscle performance at the velocities of 60°/s and 120°/s, mean [95% CI] difference between groups of the comparison between chronic stroke patients (n=18) and healthy matched subjects (n=18).
Table 3. Trunk muscle performance scores for chronic stroke patients (n=18) as a percentage of healthy-matched subjects (n=18) at the velocities of 60°/s and 120°/s.
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Although chronic stroke patients commonly show impairment of trunk muscle performance, this disability has only been analyzed in terms of peak torque. Therefore, other measures are needed for a more adequate description.


This study aimed to compare concentric muscle performance of trunk flexor/extensor muscles between chronic stroke patients and matched-healthy subjects.


18 chronic stroke patients and 18 healthy subjects were matched according to their age, sex, body mass index and level of physical activity. After familiarization, trunk flexor/extensor concentric muscle strength was measured using an isokinetic dynamometer (Biodex Medical Systems Inc, Shirley, NY, USA) with 3 repetitions at a velocity of 60°/s and 5 repetitions at a velocity of 120°/s. Trunk muscular performance was characterized by peak torque, torque at 90°, total work, and total work normalized by trunk mass. Student's t-test was used for independent samples (α=0.05) for group comparisons.


All trunk muscle performance variables values investigated were significantly lower in chronic stroke patients when compared to matched-healthy subjects (p0.001). The obtained ratios of chronic stroke patients scores to that of the matched-healthy subjects at velocities of 60°/s and 120°/s were, respectively: flexor peak torque (60% & 53%)/extensor (54% & 53%); flexor torque at 90° (56.20% & 36.58%)/extensor (57.92% & 30.65%); flexor total muscular work (51.27% & 38.03%)/extensor (47.97% & 39.52%); and flexor total muscular work normalized by trunk mass (55.57% & 40%)/extensor (51.40% & 42%).


Chronic stroke patients showed decreased trunk muscle performance when compared to matched-healthy subjects in all variables investigated.

Physical Therapy
Muscle strength


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