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Stroke-related changes in neuromuscular fatigue of the hip flexors and functional implications. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2012 Jan;91(1):33-42



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OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to compare stroke-related changes in hip flexor neuromuscular fatigue of the paretic leg during a sustained isometric submaximal contraction with those of the nonparetic leg and controls and to correlate fatigue with clinical measures of function.

DESIGN: Hip torques were measured during a fatiguing hip flexion contraction at 20% of the hip flexion maximal voluntary contraction in the paretic and nonparetic legs of 13 people with chronic stroke and 10 age-matched controls. In addition, the participants with stroke performed a fatiguing contraction of the paretic leg at the absolute torque equivalent to 20% maximal voluntary contraction of the nonparetic leg and were tested for self-selected walking speed (10-m Walk Test) and balance (Berg).

RESULTS: When matching the nonparetic target torque, the paretic hip flexors had a shorter time to task failure compared with the nonparetic leg and controls (P < 0.05). The time to failure of the paretic leg was inversely correlated with the reduction of hip flexion maximal voluntary contraction torque. Self-selected walking speed was correlated with declines in torque and steadiness. Berg-Balance scores were inversely correlated with the force fluctuation amplitude.

CONCLUSIONS: Fatigue and precision of contraction are correlated with walking function and balance after stroke.

Author List

Hyngstrom AS, Onushko T, Heitz RP, Rutkowski A, Hunter SK, Schmit BD


Allison Hyngstrom PhD Associate Professor in the Physical Therapy department at Marquette University
Brian Schmit PhD Professor in the Biomedical Engineering department at Marquette University

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Case-Control Studies
Exercise Test
Follow-Up Studies
Gait Disorders, Neurologic
Hip Joint
Isometric Contraction
Middle Aged
Mobility Limitation
Muscle Fatigue
Muscle, Skeletal
Range of Motion, Articular
Reference Values
Stroke Rehabilitation