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Mindy F. Levin
Trunk mobility and walking stability after a stroke
People who have had a stroke have difficulty walking and are prone to falling. One approach that physiotherapists use to improve balance and walking after a stroke is training people to have better control over the movements of their trunk at the shoulder and hip levels. For example, when we walk, the shoulders rhythmically rotate to the right while the hips rotate to the left and vice versa for each successive step. While previous research has shown that people with low back pain and Parkinson’s disease have trouble making rhythmical shoulders and pelvic movements while walking, this has never been shown in people who have had a stroke. This study will measure how the trunk moves when healthy older people and people with stroke walk.
We expect that there will be a relationship between trunk mobility and how symmetrical and stable the walking pattern is. This means that by improving trunk mobility, a person’s walking pattern will be more stable and s/he will be less likely to fall. This information will be used by physiotherapists to design more effective treatment problems for people with stroke to improve their walking stability.