Medical College of Wisconsin
CTSICores SearchResearch InformaticsREDCap

Repeat Exposure to Leg Swing Perturbations During Treadmill Training Induces Long-Term Retention of Increased Step Length in Human SCI: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Study. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2016 12;95(12):911-920



Pubmed ID





OBJECTIVE: To determine whether repeat exposure to force perturbations during treadmill training can induce long-term retention of improved step length and overall improvements in locomotor function in persons with spinal cord injury.

DESIGN: Fourteen patients with spinal cord injury were recruited and randomly assigned to swing resistance or swing assistance training groups. A controlled swing resistance or assistance force, for resistance or assistance training groups, respectively, was applied to both legs through a cable-driven robotic system during treadmill training. Each participant trained 3 times per week for 6 weeks. Step length, walking speed, 6-minute walking distance, and other clinical assessments were evaluated before and after 6 weeks of training and 8 weeks after the end of training.

RESULTS: A significant increase in step length was observed after 6 weeks of resistance training (P = 0.04). Step length tended to increase after assistance treadmill training, but the change was not significant (P = 0.18). The changes in step length and functional gains had no significant difference between 2 groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Repeat exposure to swing resistance during treadmill training may induce a prolonged retention of increased step length, although it remains unclear whether swing resistance versus assistance is more effective in inducing increased step length.

Author List

Wu M, Landry JM, Kim J, Schmit BD, Yen SC, McDonald J, Zhang Y


Brian Schmit PhD Professor in the Biomedical Engineering department at Marquette University

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

Cervical Vertebrae
Middle Aged
Pilot Projects
Resistance Training
Spinal Cord Injuries
Thoracic Vertebrae
Treatment Outcome