The aim of this project is quadripartite.
At first, age-related differences in gait and trunk kinematics across the entire gait cycle will be examined in healthy individuals. Since aging affects dynamic stability and introduces a more cautious walking pattern, the biomechanical interaction between the trunk and gait performance could be altered.
Secondly, the biomechanical interaction between trunk and gait performance in healthy individuals and stroke subjects will be compared. People after stroke often have an impaired trunk function, resulting in balance and gait disorders. Pathological movement patterns after stroke can be compared with age-matched normative data as motion capture systems provide more sensitive data to explore the interaction between trunk performance and gait in contrast to the clinical measures used in literature.
Thirdly, despite of the evidence demonstrating the importance of trunk performance after stroke, studies about the effects of trunk exercises on gait and trunk performance are inconsistent. The use of clinical outcome measures used in literature cannot explain the underlying mechanisms of the therapeutic effects in contrast to motion tracking systems. Therefore, this research project further explores the effects of additional customized trunk exercises based new scientific insights in people suffering from stroke submitted to a rehabilitation hospital.
At last, no studies are conducted in community-dwelling people with stroke regarding the efficacy of trunk exercise programs on trunk and gait performance. Patients who are 2 to 4 years post stroke onset are rarely receiving intense rehabilitation. Therefore, the effects on gait and trunk performance will be investigated after patients received a therapy boost consisting of trunk exercises.
Duration: 01/10/2015 -30/09/2021