The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of combined pelvic corrective force and visual feedback during treadmill walking on paretic leg muscle activity and gait characteristics in individuals with post-stroke hemiparesis. Fifteen chronic stroke participants completed visual feedback only and combined pelvic corrective force and visual feedback conditions during treadmill walking. Each condition included: 1-minute baseline, 7-minute training with visual feedback only or additional pelvic corrective force, 1-minute post training, 1-minute standing break, and another 5-minute training. EMGs from the paretic leg muscles and step length were measured. Overground walking was evaluated before treadmill walking, immediately and 10 minutes after treadmill walking. Greater increases in integrated EMG of all muscles, except vastus medialis and tibialis anterior, were observed with the application of additional pelvic corrective force compared to visual feedback only during treadmill walking. Overground walking speed significantly increased after treadmill training with combined pelvic correction force and visual feedback, but was not significant for the visual feedback only condition. Voluntary weight shifting with additional pelvic corrective force enhanced paretic leg muscle activities and improved gait characteristics during walking. Individuals with post-stroke hemiparesis could adapt feedforward control and generalize the adaptation to overground walking.
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