Collens, Fiona M., Baer, Gillian and Ashburn, Ann M.
Stepping on to a single step: a kinematic study
Physiotherapy Research International, 10, (2), .
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Purpose: To describe the timings and ranges of linear displacements of the pelvis and feet occurring in a healthy older population when stepping up (SU) onto a step; and to describe variations noted in a small sample of subjects with hemiplegia.
Design: An observational case series.
Setting: Gait Laboratory in a General Hospital.
Subjects: Convenience sample of subjects (<60 years).
Interventions: Participants stepping up onto 18 cm step.
Main outcome measures: SU cycle time, pelvic lateral displacement (PLD), footbase and heel clearance using CODA- a three dimensional movement analysis system.
Results: Mean SU time of normal subjects was 1.68 sec. Total range of PLD during one SU cycle was 70mm. PLD was asymmetrical being significantly greater towards the initial weight bearing leg.(p<0.0001). Older subjects (60+years) had less heel clearance than (p<0.03) than younger. SU performance by subjects with hemiplegia observed to be up to three times slower, to use up to 4 times the range of PLD and to be asymmetrical in timing and ranges of movement.
Conclusions: This kinematic study describes a 'normal' SU pattern not previously reported. Age and stroke influenced the amount and speed of movement adopted during the task. Information about the movement strategies used by the elderly and those with stroke should guide therapists in their management of physical function.
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