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, 83 (1), 49-57

The Relationship of Lower-Extremity Muscle Torque to Locomotor Performance in People With Stroke

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  • PMID: 12495412

The Relationship of Lower-Extremity Muscle Torque to Locomotor Performance in People With Stroke

C Maria Kim et al. Phys Ther.

Abstract

Background and purpose: Improved walking is a common goal after stroke. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the torque generated by the muscles of both lower extremities and 2 locomotor tasks: gait on level surfaces and stair climbing in people who had strokes.

Subjects: Twenty community-dwelling individuals (mean age=61.2 years, SD=8.4, range=52-82) who had strokes and who were able to walk independently participated in the study. The mean time since stroke was 4.0 years (SD=2.6, range=1.5-10.0).

Methods: Pearson correlations and multiple regression were used to measure the relationship between concentric isokinetic torque of the flexor and extensor muscles of the hip, knee, and ankle bilaterally and locomotor performance (gait on level surfaces and stair-climbing speed).

Results: The isokinetic torques of the paretic ankle plantar flexors, hip flexors, and knee flexors had moderate to high correlations (r=.5-.8) with gait and stair-climbing speeds. Muscle force could explain 66% to 72% of the variability in gait and stair-climbing speeds. Correlations for the nonparetic side were as high as or higher than those for the paretic side for some muscle groups.

Discussion and conclusion: Muscle performance measurements of both limbs should be included in the evaluation of locomotion and treatment of people following a stroke.

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