Introduction: The ultimate goal of physiotherapy in stroke rehabilitation is focused towards physical independence and to restore their functional ability during activities of daily living (ADLs). Motor imagery (MI) is an active process during which a specific action is reproduced within working memory without any actual movements. MI training enhances motor learning, neural reorganization and cortical activation in stroke. The efficacy of MI training involving lower extremity mobility tasks need to be assessed. Aim: To evaluate the effects of combining motor imagery with physical practice in paretic Lower Extremity Muscles Strength and Gait Performance in Ambulant Stroke subjects. Materials and Methods: A Randomized Clinical Trial was conducted in Department of Physical Therapy, Tertiary Care Hospitals, Mangalore, India which includes 40 hemi paretic subjects (>3 months post-stroke) who were ambulant with good imagery ability in both KVIQ-20 ≥ 60 and Time dependent MI screening test were recruited and randomly allocated into task-oriented training group (n=20) and task-oriented training group plus MI group (n=20). Subjects in both groups underwent task orientated training for lower extremity 45-60 minutes, 4 days per week for 3 weeks. In addition, the experimental group received 30 minutes of audio-based lower extremity mobility tasks for MI practice. Isometric muscle strength of Hip, Knee and Ankle using a hand-held dynamometer and self-selected 10 m gait speed were assessed before and after 3 weeks of intervention. Results: Both the groups had found a significant change for all the outcome measures following 3 weeks of interventions with p <.05. The experimental group had shown a significant improvement in paretic hip muscles (both flexors and extensors), knee extensors and ankle dorsiflexors and gait speed compare to control group with p <.05 between group analyses. Conclusion: Additional task specific MI training improves paretic muscle strength and gait performance in ambulant stroke patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Biochemistry