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Abstract

Purpose: Restoration of gait in stroke survivors is a major goal in rehabilitation. Recently, treadmill training has been introduced as a measure to improve the post stroke gait pattern, but there is still limited data on the use of the cycle ergometer. The primary aim was to compare selected gait parameters of hemiplegics subjects who received cycle ergometry and those who had traditional physiotherapy. Method: A total of twenty-four (24) subjects were alternately allocated to 2 groups, but only 20 completed the experimental procedure. The two groups received baseline traditional physiotherapy while the experimental group used a cycle ergometer as an addition. Participants pedaled at a predetermined cadence of 50 rpm until the participant indicated that he or she could not pedal any longer, and this training was repeated 3 times per week for 6 weeks. To measure outcomes, the participants were instructed to walk on a 3-meter walkway with sprinkled powder to show the footprints. The prints were then utilized to measure the selected parameters (step length, stride length and step width). The period of time from one heel contact of one foot to the following occurrence of the same event with the same foot is taken as gait cycle, while cadence was determined as number of steps per minute. The Wisconsin gait scale was used to measure any changes in the affected limb. Descriptive statistics and Analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used to analyze the data. Results: The initial cadence of the experimental group was 42.17steps/minute while the final was 64.00steps/min. Also, the initial cadence of the control group was 40.50steps/min while the final was 52.25steps/min. Similarly, the gait cycle improved from 20.83 seconds to 31.67 seconds for the experimental group while that of the control group improved from 20.00 to 25.75 seconds. This showed that there was significant improvement in cadence (p < 0.00) and gait cycle (p < 0.00) when cycle ergometry was combined with conventional therapy compared to those who had only conventional therapy. Also, the Wisconsin Gait Scale score improved significantly for the experimental group (p < 0.02). Conclusion: This study concluded that selected parameters of the gait of people post-stroke were improved when cycle ergometry was combined with conventional therapy. Further research is indicated.

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