Physical therapy for correcting postural and coordination deficits in patients with mild-to-moderate traumatic brain injury

Ksenia I. Ustinova, Ludmila A. Chernikova, Ann Dull, Jan Perkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to test the effects of a conventional exercise program designed for correcting postural and coordination abnormalities in patients with mild-to-moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI). Using principles of motor learning applied to functional exercise training, exercises were performed while lying, sitting, standing and walking, with the goal of improving intra- and inter-limb coordination in the upper and lower extremities, postural stability and gait pattern. Twenty-two participants with TBI-related deficits received therapy in a supervised outpatient clinic. Therapy included 20 sessions, each approximately 55 to 60?min in duration, scheduled four to five times a week over four consecutive weeks. Each participant was evaluated with a battery of clinical tests at baseline and immediately after therapy. Upon completion of the therapy, participants improved static and dynamic postural stability and gait, evaluated with the Berg Balance Scale (from 45.2?±?5.9 to 49.2?±?4.2 points) and the Functional Gait Assessment (from 22.8?±?4.1 to 26.9?±?3.4 points). They also reduced truncal, upper and lower extremity ataxia, evaluated with the Ataxia Scale (from 7.3?±?4.5 to 5.9?±?4.2 points). Results will be used to refine the current version of the exercise therapy, which focused on whole body coordination and balance, and to design a large-scale clinical trial establishing effectiveness of this intervention and for comparison with other forms of therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalPhysiotherapy Theory and Practice
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Keywords

  • Ataxia
  • Gait
  • Motor recovery
  • Neurorehabilitation
  • Postural instability
  • Therapeutic exercises
  • Traumatic brain injury

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