Effects of dual-task and walking speed on gait variability in people with chronic ankle instability: A cross-sectional study

Shmuel Springer, Uri Gottlieb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Recent evidence suggests that impaired central sensorimotor integration may contribute to deficits in movement control experienced by people with chronic ankle instability (CAI). This study compared the effects of dual-task and walking speed on gait variability in individuals with and without CAI. Methods: Sixteen subjects with CAI and 16 age- and gender-matched, able-bodied controls participated in this study. Stride time variability and stride length variability were measured on a treadmill under four different conditions: self-paced walking, self-paced walking with dual-task, fast walking, and fast walking with dual-task. Results: Under self-paced walking (without dual-task) there was no difference in stride time variability between CAI and control groups (P = 0.346). In the control group, compared to self-paced walking, stride time variability decreased in all conditions: self-paced walking with dual-task, fast speed, and fast speed with dual-task (P = 0.011, P = 0.016, P = 0.001, respectively). However, in the CAI group, compared to self-paced walking, decreased stride time variability was demonstrated only in the fast speed with dual-task condition (P = 1.000, P = 0.471, P = 0.008; respectively). Stride length variability did not change under any condition in either group. Conclusions: Subjects with CAI and healthy controls reduced their stride time variability in response to challenging walking conditions; however, the pattern of change was different. A higher level of gait disturbance was required to cause a change in walking in the CAI group compared to healthy individuals, which may indicate lower adaptability of the sensorimotor system. Clinicians may use this information and employ activities to enhance sensorimotor control during gait, when designing intervention programs for people with CAI. The study was registered with the Clinical Trials network (registration NCT02745834, registration date 15/3/2016).

Original languageEnglish
Article number316
JournalBMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Jul 2017

Keywords

  • Ankle sprain
  • Chronic ankle instability
  • Gait variability
  • Walking

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