Original Article

Development and verification of a cane for treadmill gait training

Hiroki Tanikawa, RPT, DMSc, Satoshi Hirano, MD, DMSc, Shigeo Tanabe, RPT, PhD, Ikuko Fuse, MD, Kei Ohtsuka, RPT, DMSc, Masahiko Mukaino, MD, DMSc, Ieyasu Watanabe, RPT, Daisuke Katoh, RPT, Akihito Uno, PO, Hitoshi Kagaya, MD, DMSc, Eiichi Saitoh, MD, DMSc
Jpn J Compr Rehabil Sci 10: 21-28, 2019

Objective: To clarify the influence of using a handrail during treadmill gait and to verify the effectiveness of a gait training cane developed in this study.
Methods: A cane for treadmill gait training was developed by fixing to a steel base a multipoint cane having a structure that moves back and forth and right and left. Five hemiplegic patients were required to walk on a treadmill without using the handrail, with using the developed cane, and with using the handrail, and their gait was compared using a three-dimensional motion analysis system.
Results: Both the step length and affected-side singlestance phase duration were significantly longer in the gait without the handrail compared to that with the developed cane and with the handrail. No significant differences were observed in the quantitative degree of abnormal gait patterns, but there was a tendency to increase in the same order.
Conclusions: Using a handrail assists the affected-side lower-limb stance and swing and might make it easier to employ compensatory movements. This study shows that using the developed cane during treadmill gait could be a possible training task, in which the difficulty level is between gait training with a handrail and without a handrail.

Key words: hemiplegia, treadmill, handrail, cane, motor learning

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