Original Research

An analysis of trunk kinematics and gait parameters in people with stroke

Adnil W. Titus, Susan Hillier, Quinette A. Louw, Gakeemah Inglis-Jassiem
African Journal of Disability | Vol 7 | a310 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v7i0.310 | © 2018 Adnil W. Titus, Susan Hillier, Quinette A. Louw, Gakeemah Inglis-Jassiem | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 September 2016 | Published: 29 March 2018

About the author(s)

Adnil W. Titus, Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Susan Hillier, Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa; Sansom Institute For Health Research, University of South Australia, Australia
Quinette A. Louw, Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Gakeemah Inglis-Jassiem, Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Approximately two out of three people with stroke experience gait problems. Trunk movement control and symmetry is an important prerequisite for functional walking gait. Movement control, measured objectively as kinematics during walking gait, is rarely investigated.
Objective: To describe the three-dimensional (3D) kinematics of the trunk during gait in people with stroke, including key spatiotemporal characteristics.
Methodology: A total of 17 adults with stroke who met the inclusion criteria were selected to participate in this cross-sectional pilot study. An eight-camera T-10 Vicon system with Nexus 1.8 software (Vicon Motion System Limited, Oxford, UK) was used to analyse the 3D kinematics of the trunk during self-selected walking speed. Trunk kinematics throughout the gait cycle and spatiotemporal parameters were extracted using custom-built scripts in MATLAB used at the Stellenbosch University Movement Analysis Laboratory. Stata Version 12.1 software was used to assess differences in trunk kinematics between the affected and unaffected sides during gait using the Sign test (statistical significance level p < 0.05).
Results: Participants achieved functional gait speeds although they presented with asymmetrical trunk kinematics. During the full gait cycle, there were statistically significant differences of trunk motion between the affected and unaffected sides in the coronal plane (p < 0.001). There were statistically significant differences in the trunk kinematics between the affected side and unaffected sides at initial contact (p < 0.001) and foot off (p < 0.049) in the coronal plane as well as at initial contact (p < 0.000) and foot off (p < 0.013) in the transverse plane.
Conclusion: This pilot study found significant asymmetry in trunk motion between the affected and unaffected sides that varied across the gait cycle. This suggests the trunk may need to be targeted in clinical gait retraining post-stroke.

Keywords

Gait; Stroke; Three Dimensional; Kinematics; Thorax; Trunk

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