Aquatic Trunk Exercise for Stroke Rehab

The effects of aquatic trunk exercise on gait and muscle activity in stroke patients: a randomized controlled pilot study

Authors: Park BS, Noh JW, Kim MY, Yang SM, Lee WD and Shin YS from the Laboratory of Health Science and Nanophysiotherapy, Department of Physical Therapy, Graduate School, Yongin University, Republic of Korea | Lee LK from the Commercializations Promotion Agency for R&D Outcomes, Republic of Korea | Kim JH from the Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health Welfare, Wonkwang Health Science University, Republic of Korea | Lee JU from the Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health Science, Honam University, Republic of Korea | Kwak TY from the Department of Taekwondo Instructor Education, College of Martial Arts, Yongin University, Republic of Korea | Lee TH and Kim JY from the Department of Combative Martial Arts Training, College of Martial Arts, Yongin University, Republic of Korea | Park J from the Department of Social Welfare, College of Public Health and Welfare, Yongin University, Republic of Korea | Kim J from the Department of Physical Therapy, College of Public Health and Welfare, Yongin University, Republic of Korea. | October 2015

 

PURPOSE

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between muscle activity and gait function following aquatic trunk exercise in hemiplegic stroke patients.

 

METHODS

This study’s participants included 13 hemiplegic patients (10 males and 3 females). The aquatic therapy consisted of administering concentrative aquatic therapy for 4 weeks in a therapeutic pool. Gait parameters were measured using a gait analysis system adjusted to each subject’s comfortable walking speed. Electromyographic signals were measured for the rectus abdominis, external abdominal oblique, transversus abdominis/internal-abdominal oblique, and erector spine of each patients.

 

RESULTS

The pre- and post-training performances of the transversus abdominis/internal-abdominal oblique were compared statistically. There was no statistical difference between the patients’ pre- and post-training values of maximal voluntary isometric contraction of the rectus abdominis, but the external abdominal oblique values tended to improve. Furthermore, gait factors improved significantly in terms of walking speeds, walking cycles, affected-side stance phases, affected-stride lengths, and stance-phase symmetry indices, respectively.

 

CONCLUSIONS

These results suggest that the trunk exercise during aquatic therapy may in part contribute to clinically relevant improvements in muscle activities and gait parameters.

 

Source: Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 2015 Nov; 27(11): 3549–3553., PMID: 26696736