Is There a "Hidden" Effect of Treadmill Walking on Step Characteristics, in Children With Cerebral Palsy and Typically Developed Controls?

Michal Katz-Leurer, Hemda Rotem, Shirley Meyer


Background: To examine the immediate effect of treadmill walking, on gait variability among children with cerebral palsy (CP) and typically developed (TD) age matched controls.

Methods: Eleven children with CP and sixteen TD controls participated in this study. Ages were 7 - 13 years. Step time and length variability were assessed by an electronic walkway prior to and after treadmill walking for six minutes.

Results: When walking on level ground prior to the treadmill session children with CP walked with significantly increased step time and step time and length variability and significant reduced step length compared to the TD subjects. Treadmill walking reduced walking velocity, increased step time and decreased step length variability significantly among children with CP.

Conclusions: Walking on a treadmill at a fixed gait velocity impact gait characteristics among children with CP, with possible advantageous effect on step length variability.

J Neurol Res. 2012;2(4):159-163


Gait; Cerebral palsy; Step variability; Treadmill

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