Relationship between Dynamic Balance and the Muscular Strength of the Non-paretic Lower Limbs of Patients with Post-stroke Hemiplegia
AbstractPatients with stroke are faced with a wide range of impairments, including diminished balance and increased postural sway. The unaffected (non-paretic) lower limbs play a prominent role in the maintenance of balance. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between dynamic balance and the muscular strength of the unaffected lower limbs in patients with stroke. Eighteen patients (12 men and 6 women) with post-stroke hemiplegia were measured individually on dynamic balance and muscular strength of the unaffected hip flexors, hip extensors, knee flexors and knee extensors. Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient (r) was used to determine whether significant relationships existed between dynamic balance and the torque produced by the hip flexors, hip extensors, knee flexors and knee extensors of the unaffected lower limbs. The mean age was 60.44 ± 5.64 years, while the mean weight was 67.67 ±10.99 kg. Eleven of the patients had left-sided hemiplegia while seven had right-sided hemiplegia. Dynamic balance performance was significantly related to the muscular strength of the hip flexors, hip extensors, knee flexors and knee extensors of the unaffected lower limbs. It was concluded that a major focus of rehabilitation programmes for patients with stroke should include balance training and attention should be given to the unaffected lower limbs in addition to the affected limbs.
KEY WORDS: Stroke, Hemiplegia, Balance impairments, Rehabilitation, Motor deficits.
[Nig. Jnl Health & Biomedical Sciences Vol.2(1) 2003: 16-20]