Pilot Study of Split Belt Treadmill Based Gait Rehabilitation System for Symmetric Stroke Gait
Takeshi Ando*,**, Eiichi Ohki**, Yasutaka Nakashima**,
Yutaka Akita***, Hiroshi Iijima***, Osamu Tanaka***,
and Masakatsu G. Fujie**
*Robotics and Design for Innovative Healthcare, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, 1-7 Yamada-oka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
**Graduate School of Creative Science and Engineering, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Waseda University, 59-309, 3-4-1 Ohkubo, Shinjuku, Tokyo 169-8555, Japan
***Yokohama Rehabilitation Foundation, 1770 Karasuyama-cyo, Kouhoku-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 222-0035, Japan
A split belt treadmill for gait rehabilitation was developed to improve the symmetry of the stance phase time of patients with stroke. The system, which increases the stance phase time of the affected leg and then realizes a well-balanced gait, is divided into two components. First, the stance phases of the sound and affected legs were measured and presented visually in real time to the patient and physical therapist as biofeedback. Second, using stance phase biofeedback, the physical therapist sets two different velocities of treadmill belts for sound and affected legs. In an experiment, 11 patients with chronic stroke participated in a short-term intervention trial (20 gait cycles) of the developed treadmill system. Three of the five subjects who had lost balance between the stance phase of the sound leg and that of the affected one improved their gait balance in the intervention trial. In addition, one subject kept the well-balanced gait after the intervention.
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