Spatial and Temporal Control Contribute to Step Length Asymmetry during Split-Belt Adaptation and Hemiparetic Gait

James M. Finley, Andrew Long, Amy J Bastian, Gelsy Torres-Oviedo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background. Step length asymmetry (SLA) is a common hallmark of gait poststroke. Though conventionally viewed as a spatial deficit, SLA can result from differences in where the feet are placed relative to the body (step position strategy), the timing between foot strikes (step time strategy), or the velocity of the body relative to the feet (step velocity strategy). Objective. The goal of this study was to characterize the relative contributions of each of these strategies to SLA. Methods. We developed an analytical model that parses SLA into independent step position, step time, and step velocity contributions. This model was validated by reproducing SLA values for 25 healthy participants when their natural symmetric gait was perturbed on a split-belt treadmill moving at either a 2:1 or 3:1 belt-speed ratio. We then applied the validated model to quantify step position, step time, and step velocity contributions to SLA in 15 stroke survivors while walking at their self-selected speed. Results. SLA was predicted precisely by summing the derived contributions, regardless of the belt-speed ratio. Although the contributions to SLA varied considerably across our sample of stroke survivors, the step position contribution tended to oppose the other 2 - possibly as an attempt to minimize overall SLA. Conclusions. Our results suggest that changes in where the feet are placed or changes in interlimb timing could be used as compensatory strategies to reduce overall SLA in stroke survivors. These results may allow clinicians and researchers to identify patient-specific gait abnormalities and personalize their therapeutic approaches accordingly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)786-795
Number of pages10
JournalNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
Volume29
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 27 2015

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Gait
Foot
Survivors
Stroke
Walking
Healthy Volunteers
Research Personnel
Therapeutics

Keywords

  • biomechanics
  • locomotion
  • motor coordination
  • rehabilitation
  • stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Neurology

Cite this

Spatial and Temporal Control Contribute to Step Length Asymmetry during Split-Belt Adaptation and Hemiparetic Gait. / Finley, James M.; Long, Andrew; Bastian, Amy J; Torres-Oviedo, Gelsy.

In: Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, Vol. 29, No. 8, 27.09.2015, p. 786-795.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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