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Exercise

Video Improves Post-Stroke Exercise Results

About 80% of stroke survivors experience a condition called hemiparesis that causes weakness or the inability to move one side of the body. Core stabilization exercise to improve postural stability and independent walking in chronic hemiparetic stroke patients could be enhanced by real-time video feedback, according to research done at Sahmyook University in the Republic of Korea and published in the journal Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience.

A release from the publisher notes that stroke is the most common cause of permanent disability in adults. Stroke patients generally show muscle weakness of limbs and trunk on the affected side. Walking performance is often affected by muscle weakness, spasticity, contracture, pain, sensory and visual impairments, and postural instability. One of the main goals of stroke rehabilitation programs is to improve posture and help patients to walk independently and safely. Core stability exercise has been used with success in athletes and orthopedic patients with lower back pain and has also been reported to improve trunk stability in stroke patients, which is essential for balance and extremity use during daily functional activities and higher level tasks.

The researchers hypothesized that that the effects of core stabilization exercise in stroke patients could be enhanced by augmented, or real-time, video feedback. Augmented feedback can provide information to patients regarding their problems while they are performing functional activities by themselves because it contains information on the nature or quality of the movement during performance and includes identification of the correct and incorrect parts of the function activities.

The release quotes co-author Byoung-Hee Lee, PT, PhD as saying, "The augmented reality system provided by video feedback using a computer in a simulator is a powerful mode of augmented feedback. It is delivered to the patient online in a computer-aided instruction program. The system provides real-time feedback as well as a record of the entire performance. The patient can therefore detect errors directly and attempt to correct them on the next trial. However, there is little research on the effect of real-time feedback on postural stability in individuals with chronic hemiparetic stroke during the core stabilization exercises..

This study examined the feasibility of real-time feedback on postural stability and gait performance during core stabilization exercise in 19 patients, who had been diagnosed with chronic hemiparetic stroke six months or more before the study. Importantly, core stabilization exercise minimizes the risks of falls and improves safety during training, critical considerations when working with stroke patients. All of the patients had sufficient cognitive ability to take part in the study and could walk independently with or without a walking aid for at least 15 minutes.

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