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Video: High-intensity Walking Effectively Restores Mobility After Stroke
High-intensity walking effectively restores mobility after stroke
Intense walking with various exercises (walking on uneven and inclined surfaces, stairs, obstacles and a gymnastic balance beam) provides a better rehabilitation effect for stroke survivors than walking only slowly forward. This was proved by the study of American scientists.
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High-intensity walking training that simulates real-world conditions can significantly improve mobility in stroke survivors compared to traditional low-intensity training, according to a new US study. The results of the study are published in the American Heart Association's journal Stroke.
“Stroke survivors often have difficulty walking and imbalance. Stroke rehabilitation has traditionally included low-intensity walking and usually forward only. This is not enough for the nervous system to prepare it and the body as a whole for real life conditions: uneven surfaces, stairs or changes in direction of movement,”says study author, professor of physiotherapy and rehabilitation at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis T. George Hornby (T. George Hornby).
The study found that stroke patients can perform higher intensity walking exercises and more challenging tasks than previously thought. According to the author of the work, it is necessary to go beyond traditional rehabilitation with a low-intensity load in order to "spur the nervous and cardiovascular systems, restore body functions and adapt it to real conditions."
The study involved 90 people between the ages of 18 and 85 who had suffered a stroke at least 6 months before starting work. All participants had poor performance on one side of the body.
The first group of participants engaged in intensive walking training and performed various tasks. People in the second group practiced only vigorous forward walking. The third group was engaged in walking at a low pace and performed various tasks. Tasks included walking on uneven and inclined surfaces, stairs, randomly placed obstacles on a treadmill, and on a gymnastic balance beam.
During the work with patients, the following was established.
Patients from the first and second groups began to walk faster and longer distances than from the third group.
- After training, in the first two groups, 57–80% of the participants showed good clinical indicators, while in the third group, only 9–31% of people.
- Training in the first group resulted in improved dynamic balance while walking.
Hornby noted that there was no deterioration in patients' condition during training. Thus, it can be assumed that stroke survivors may perform a variety of high-intensity walking exercises.
“When stroke patients exercise harder than usual, they see big changes in a short amount of time. This increases the efficiency of rehabilitation and mobility of patients, "- comments on the results of the study Hornby.
The ultimate goal of the researchers is to incorporate high-intensity exercise training into the daily practice of clinical rehabilitation.
The study covered a small group of people. Dr. Hornby said the next step would be to test his training on large patient populations.
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