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Indexed/Abstracted in: CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 2,063
Online ISSN 1973-9095
Hatem A. EMARA 1, 2, Tarek M. EL-GOHARY 3, Ahmed H. AL-JOHANY 4
1 College of Medical Rehabilitation Sciences, Taibah University, Medina, Saudi Arabia; 2 Department of Physical Therapy for Growth and Developmental Disorders in Children and its Surgery, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt; 3 Department of Biomechanics, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt; 4 Medical Hospital, Al-Madinah Al-Monawarah, Saudi Arabia
BACKGROUND: Suspension training and treadmill training are commonly used for promoting functional gross motor skills in children with cerebral palsy.
AIM: The aim of this study was to compare the effect of body-weight suspension training versus treadmill training on gross motor functional skills.
DESIGN: Assessor-blinded, randomized, controlled intervention study.
SETTING: Outpatient rehabilitation facility.
POPULATION: Twenty children with spastic diplegia (7 boys and 13 girls) in the age ranged from 6 to 8 years old were randomly allocated into two equal groups. All children were assessed at baseline, after 18-session and after 36-session.
METHODS: During the twelve-week outpatient rehabilitation program, both groups received traditional therapeutic exercises. Additionally, one group received locomotor training using the treadmill while the other group received locomotor training using body-weight suspension through the dynamic spider cage. Assessment included dimensions “D” standing and “E” walking of the gross motor function measure, in addition to the 10-m Walking Test and the five times sit to stand test. Training was applied three times per week for twelve consecutive weeks.
RESULTS: No significant difference was found in standing or walking ability for measurements taken at baseline or after 18-session of therapy. Measurements taken at 36-session showed that suspension training achieved significantly (P<0.05) higher average score than treadmill training for dimension D as well as for dimension E. No significant difference was found between suspension training and treadmill training regarding walking speed or sit to stand transitional skills.
CONCLUSIONS: Body-weight suspension training is effective in improving walking and locomotor capabilities in children with spastic diplegia. After three month suspension training was superior to treadmill training.
CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: Body-weight suspension training promotes adequate postural stability, good balance control, and less exertion which facilitates efficient and safe gait.