The recovery of ambulation is an important focus of rehabilitation for both stroke survivors and their rehabilitation team. This study was conducted to compare the therapeutic efficacy of treadmill training and combination of bicycle ergometer & over ground walk training on functional ambulation (FA) post stroke.
Fifteen stroke survivors participated in a 6-week, 2-group quasi-experimental study which was conducted at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital. Walking speed was used to rate FA of participants. Participants were randomly distributed into 2 groups: A (treadmill training) and B (bicycle ergometer and over ground walking training). The data was analysed with inferential statistics of Wilcoxon sign rank test and Mann-Whitney U test to determine within and between group differences in FA respectively.
The mean age and baseline FA of the participants in group A was 47.78 ± 8.17 years and 0.32±0.08 m/s while that of participants in group B was 46.9 ± 7.11 years and 0.34±0.15 m/s. There were a significant within group difference (pre versus post intervention) in the scores of FA in group A (p=0.018) and group B (p=0.043). There was however insignificant between group difference (treadmill versus bicycle ergometer and over ground walking) in FA at baseline (p>0.05) and post intervention periods (p>0.05).
This study concluded that both treadmill training and combination of bicycle ergometer and over ground walking are effective in the retraining FA post stroke, however, combination of 2 task-oriented exercises did yield better recovery of FA than using treadmill training alone.