Motor imagery practice in gait rehabilitation of chronic post-stroke hemiparesis: four case studies

Int J Rehabil Res. 2006 Dec;29(4):351-6. doi: 10.1097/MRR.0b013e328010f559.


The aim of this series of pilot case studies was to examine the feasibility of enhancing the walking of individuals with post-stroke hemiparesis through the imagery practice of gait activities at home. Four persons with chronic hemiparesis received imagery gait practice, 3 days a week for 6 weeks. The intervention addressed gait impairments of the affected lower limb and task-specific gait training. Pre-intervention, mid-term, post-intervention and follow-up evaluations were performed. At 6 weeks from the beginning of treatment, the participants increased walking speed, stride length, cadence and single-support time on the affected lower limb, while decreasing double-support time. The findings appear to justify the institution of a larger-scale study in order to better delineate the contribution of motor imagery practice to gait performance in individuals with post-stroke hemiparesis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Gait*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Paresis / etiology
  • Paresis / rehabilitation*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Stroke / complications*
  • Walking*