Treadmill training is a commonly used intervention for improving gait in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, little is known about how treadmill training may also influence balance and other aspects of mobility.
The purpose of this case series was to explore the feasibility and possible benefits of multi-directional treadmill training for individuals with PD. Four participants (62.3 ± 6.5 yrs, Hoehn & Yahr 2-4) performed 8 weeks of treadmill training 3 times per week. Weeks 1-4 included forward walking only, while weeks 5-8 included forward and multi-directional walking. Participants were tested every 4 weeks on 4 separate occasions. Outcome measures included the following: gait speed, 6-minute walk test (6MWT), instrumented Timed Up and Go, Four Square Step Test (FSST), Mini Balance Evaluation Systems Test (Mini-BESTest), Activities Specific Balance Confidence scale (ABC) and the 39-item Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39).
Improvements were demonstrated for all gait and balance measures. Improvements exceeded minimal detectable change (MDC) and/or minimal clinically important difference (MCID) values for gait speed (3 participants), 6MWT (all 4 participants), and the Mini-BESTest (2 participants). Participants experienced greater relative improvements for most measures during the multi-directional walking portion of the program. Multi-directional treadmill training was feasible for 4 individuals with moderate to severe Parkinson’s disease and may have additional benefits for gait, balance and mobility than forward walking alone. Further research may be warranted for this novel intervention.
- stride length,
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kimberly_bigelow/6/