Journal of Neurology and Neurorehabilitation Research

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Comparison of isokinetic strengthening with functional strengthening of lower limb and their effect on gait in hemiparesis due to stroke.

Background: A large number of survivors of stroke present with various disabilities including motor deficits characterized by weakness (hemiparesis) on one side of the body opposite to the site of lesion. Muscle weakness in the affected lower limb of stroke patients is a major factor inhibiting gait ability which is the most frequently stated goal by persons with stroke. Progressive resistance strength training has been found to strengthen paretic muscles after stroke including isokinetic strengthening and functional strengthening. Purpose: The present study intended to examine whether one of the two types of lower limb strengthening (isokinetic strengthening and functional strengthening) is more beneficial in improving peak torque, six-minute walk test and step length in post stroke hemiparetic persons. Method: A total 30 number of subjects were randomly selected and assigned to either of the two groups after meeting the inclusion and exclusion criteria. All participants underwent an initial baseline assessment. Both groups received conventional physiotherapy. Group 1 in addition, received isokinetic strengthening, whereas group 2 in addition, received functional strengthening for a period of 6 weeks, 3 days/ week. All participants received a follow up assessment after completion of 6 weeks. Results: The overall results of the study suggest that after 6 weeks of intervention both the groups (isokinetic strengthening and functional strengthening) improved significantly in peak torque of hip flexor, hip extensor, knee flexor, knee extensor, ankle dorsiflexor, plantarflexor, six-minute walk test, step length affected and step length non-affected. Isokinetic strengthening group showed significantly better improvement in peak torque of hip flexor, hip extensor, knee flexor, knee extensor and six-minute walk test. Conclusion: Isokinetic strengthening of lower limb is more effective than functional strengthening in improving peak torque of hip-knee flexor and extensor muscles and six-minute walk test. However, no significant difference was noted in peak torque of ankle muscles and step length of both affected and non-affected side in post stroke hemiparetic persons.

Author(s): Shalini Singhal, Monalisa Pattnaik, Patitapaban Mohanty