Effects of core strengthening exercises on dynamic balance and gait speed in stroke survivors
Independent ambulation is the ultimate goal of post-stroke rehabilitation, of which dynamic balance is a primary requirement. Core stability is said to be essential to balance and independent ambulation, however, core strengthening exercises have often been omitted in stroke rehabilitation. The study sought to determine the effects of core strengthening exercises on dynamic balance and gait speed in stroke survivors. A total of 48 stroke survivors participated in this study. A simple random sampling in which participants were consecutively allocated into experimental and control groups was employed. The experimental group received core strengthening exercise in addition to conventional exercise while the control group had conventional exercise only. Dynamic balance was measured by maximum reach distances and gait speed was evaluated using 10-mteres walk test. Assessment of dynamic balance and gait speed was performed before treatment and six weeks after. There was no significant difference in dynamic balance and gait speed between both groups (P>0.05 in each).Significant differences in dynamic balance measures and gait speed were found between pre-test and post-test values of each of experimental and control groups (p<0.05). A holistic approach targeting all the core muscle groups and their corresponding motions should be adopted when executing core strengthening exercise.
Keywords: Stroke, Core strengthening, Exercise, Dynamic balance, Gait