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2022, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (15): 2307-2311

Effect of forearm weight-bearing on spatiotemporal parameters and joint angles of the lower limbs in patients with Parkinson’s disease during walking

Wang Hujun, Wang Yingpeng, Fang Boyan, Jin Zhaohui, Qi Lin, Zhang Qiaorong, Wang Congxiao, Qie Shuyan   

  1. Beijing Rehabilitation Hospital of Capital Medical University, Beijing 100144, China

  • Received:2021-08-24 Revised:2021-08-30 Accepted:2021-09-25 Online:2022-05-28 Published:2022-01-05

  • Contact: Qie Shuyan, MD, Chief physician, Beijing Rehabilitation Hospital of Capital Medical University, Beijing 100144, China

  • About author:Wang Hujun, Junior rehabilitation therapist, Beijing Rehabilitation Hospital of Capital Medical University, Beijing 100144, China

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Abnormal gait is the most common motor symptom in patients with Parkinson’s disease. There are various gait training methods; however, there are no reports on the forearm weight-bearing gait training methods.   
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the changes in patients with Parkinson’s disease before and after forearm weight-bearing, and to investigate the influence of forearm weight-bearing on the gait of patients with Parkinson’s disease by using three-dimensional gait analysis method.
METHODS:   Thirty patients with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease and thirty age-matched healthy subjects were selected to measure their three-dimensional gait parameters during normal walking and forearm weight-bearing walking. Stride frequency, stride speed, stride time, stride length time, single support phase, double support phase, stride length, and other spatiotemporal parameters were compared between two walking modes. Statistical Parametric Mapping was used to determine the difference between two walking modes in the joint angles and curves of the hip, knee, and ankle during the whole gait cycle.   
RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: There were significant differences in stride frequency, stride speed, stride time, single support period, and stride length between two walking modes for patients with Parkinson’s disease (P < 0.05). Whereas, healthy subjects presented with no significant differences in these spatiotemporal parameters between two walking modes (P > 0.05). Compared with normal walking, lower extremity hip flexion and extension angle of patients with Parkinson’s disease were significantly increased in 5%-23% and 87%-100% gait cycles (P < 0.05). The angles of knee flexion and extension were significantly increased in 9%-25% and 88%-98% gait cycles (P < 0.05). The angles of ankle flexion and extension were increased in 92%-100% gait cycle (P < 0.05). For patients with Parkinson’s disease undergoing forearm weight-bearing walking training, the spatiotemporal parameters, including stride frequency, stride speed, stride time, stride length, as well as the angle curves of the hip, knee, and ankle joints became close to those of healthy subjects. To conclude, the spatiotemporal parameters and the joint angles of the hip, knee and ankle joint will change in patients with Parkinson’s disease during forearm weight-bearing walking, and this change can occur throughout the whole gait cycle. Forearm weight-bearing can immediately improve the walking ability of patients with Parkinson’s disease, which is expected to be one of the gait training methods for Parkinson’s disease rehabilitation. Upper limb strength training may also affect the lower limb rehabilitation of patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Key words: Parkinson’s disease, forearm weight-bearing, three-dimensional gait analysis, statistical parametric mapping, lower limb, rehabilitation

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