Trunk kinematics during walking in persons with multiple sclerosis: The influence of body weight support

Swinnen, Eva and Baeyens, Jean Pierre and Pintens, Seppe and Nieuwenhoven, Johan and Ilsbroukx, Stephan and Buyl, Ronald and Clijsen, Ron and Goossens, Maggie and Meeusen, Romain and Kerckhofs, Eric (2014) Trunk kinematics during walking in persons with multiple sclerosis: The influence of body weight support. NeuroRehabilitation , 34 (4). pp. 731-740. ISSN 1053-8135

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Although body weight supported (BWS) treadmill training (TT) leads to some improvements in walking ability, it has not been proven that it is more effective than other walking therapies in persons with multiple sclerosis (PwMS). One possible explanation could be that BWSTT focuses on the cyclic movement of the lower extremities while the trunk is passively suspended in the harness. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to assess the 3 dimensional trunk and pelvis movements during BWS treadmill walking. METHODS: 14 PwMS and 14 healthy persons (8 male/20 female; age 23 to 59 years) walked with 0%, 10%, 20%, 30%, 50% and 70% BWS. After a familiarization period, kinematic electromagnetic tracking (Polhemus LibertyTM 240/16) of the trunk and pelvis movements was applied. Statistical analysis consisted of a repeated measures ANOVA with simple contrasts (SPSS 20). RESULTS: This study shows that BWS walking leads in general to smaller maximum trunk and pelvis movement amplitudes compared with walking without BWS, this with exception of the pelvis anterior-posterior movement in healthy subjects. CONCLUSION: These data help to identify and isolate the effect of different BWS levels in PwMS and in healthy persons and suggest to use BWS lower than 30% for treadmill training. Keywords: Body weight support, gait, gait analysis, kinematics, multiple sclerosis, pelvis, rehabilitation, treadmill, trunk, walking

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