Sitting balance and effects of kayak training in paraplegics
Anatoli Grigorenko A1, Anna Bjerkefors A1, Hans Rosdahl A1, Claes Hultling A2, Marie Alm A2, Alf Thorstensson A1
A1 Biomechanics and Motor Control Laboratory, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, University College of Physical Education and Sports and Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
A2 Spinalis, SCI Research Unit, Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
Objectives: The objectives of this study were to evaluate biomechanical variables related to balance control in sitting, and the effects of kayak training, in individuals with spinal cord injury. Subjects: Twelve individuals with spinal cord injury were investigated before and after an 8-week training period in open sea kayaking, and 12 able-bodied subjects, who did not train, served as controls. Methods: Standard deviation and mean velocity of centre of pressure displacement, and median frequency of centre of pressure acceleration were measured in quiet sitting in a special chair mounted on a force plate. Results: All variables differed between the group with spinal cord injury, before training, and the controls; standard deviation being higher and mean velocity and median frequency lower in individuals with spinal cord injury. A significant training effect was seen only as a lowering of median frequency. Conclusion: The results indicate that individuals with spinal cord injury may have acquired and consolidated an alternative strategy for balance control in quiet sitting allowing for only limited further adaptation even with such a vigorous training stimulus as kayaking.
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