Balance During Bodyweight Supported and Robot-Assisted Walking
Robot-assisted gait rehabilitation improves gait- and balance related outcome measures, but its merit over other gait rehabilitation methods is still insufficiently proven. The trunk and pelvis are important to maintain balance during gait. Despite, scarce research has been presented concerning the importance of the trunk and the pelvis in different types of gait rehabilitation methods. We investigated whether the amount of bodyweight support and the amount of guidance force have an influence on the movements of the trunk and the pelvis during robot-assisted walking (Lokomat-system). The results of this study suggest that walking with the Lokomat-system leads to significant changes in trunk and pelvis movements, which influence the training of the trunk balance during robot-assisted walking. These results should be taken into account in the development of gait rehabilitation robots and gait rehabilitation strategies.
We are grateful to the therapists of the rehabilitation center Sint-Ursula, Jessa Hospital, for participation and assistance in the study. This study was funded by the ALTACRO-project (Vrije Universiteit Brussel).
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