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Post-stroke rehabilitation often aims to increase walking speeds, as faster walking is associated with improved functional status and quality of life. However, for successful community ambulation, ability to modulate (increase and decrease) walking speeds is more important than walking continuously at constant speeds. Increasing paretic propulsive forces to increase walking speed has been extensively examined; however, little is known about the mechanics of slow walking post-stroke. The primary purpose of this study was to identify the effects of increased and decreased walking speeds on post-stroke kinetics and ankle kinematics. Fifteen individuals with chronic post-stroke hemiparesis and 15 non-neurologically impaired controls walked over an instrumented treadmill under: slow, self-selected, and fast walking speeds. We examined the peak propulsive forces, propulsive impulse, peak braking forces, braking impulse, and ankle kinematics under each condition. When walking at slow walking speeds, paretic limbs were unable to reduce braking impulse and peak propulsive force or modulate ankle kinematics. Impaired modulation of paretic gait kinetics during slow walking places people post-stroke at high risks for slip-related falls. These findings suggest the need for developing gait retraining paradigms for slow walking in individuals chronically post-stroke that target the ability of the paretic limb to modulate braking forces.
Post-stroke hemiparesis; Walking speed; Gait; Slow walking; Ground reaction forces
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Liang, J.N.; Ho, K.-Y.; Lee, Y.-J.; Ackley, C.; Aki, K.; Arias, J.; Trinh, J. Slow Walking in Individuals with Chronic Post-Stroke Hemiparesis: Speed Mediated Effects of Gait Kinetics and Ankle Kinematics. Brain Sci. 2021, 11, 365. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11030365
Slow Walking in Individuals with Chronic Post-Stroke Hemiparesis: Speed Mediated Effects of Gait Kinetics and Ankle Kinematics. In Michelle Ploughman,
Brain Sciences, 11(3),