In a nutshell
This study investigated the effectiveness of high-intensity cycling (HIC) in improving walking capacity in patients with stroke. Researchers suggested that HIC improves the walking capacity of patients with stroke.
Stroke is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the US. It happens when a blood clot or a burst blood vessel stops the blood flow to the brain. The brain cells lose their abilities in controlling body functions, causing disabilities such as impaired walking.
Aerobic exercises such as treadmill walking have been studies to evaluate walking outcomes in patients with stroke and waking problems. They have shown promising results. Cycling is also an aerobic exercise. However, the effectiveness of high-intensity cycling (HIC) treatments for stroke survivors with impaired walking capacity is still not clear.
Methods & findings
This study included information about 43 patients with stroke. These patients received either forced HIC with repetitive arm exercise (group 1), non-forced (voluntary) HIC with repetitive arm exercises (group 2) and no HIC (group 3). Participants exercised for 90 minutes a day, 3 days a week, for 8 weeks. The main outcome measured was walking capacity measured through a 6-minute walking test.
A significant increase in distance traveled during the 6-minute walking test was observed in group 1 and 2, but not in group 3. In groups 1 and 2, cycling rhythm, power output, and 6-minute walking test were predictive factors for a change in walking capacity.
The bottom line
This study suggested that HIC is a good method to treat walking impairments in stroke survivors.
The fine print
The levels of physical exercise outside of the study treatment were not measured. This could affect the results. Further studies are necessary.
Published By :
Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Sep 09, 2020