Hiroki Obata, Tetsuya Ogawa, Motonori Hoshino, Chiho Fukusaki, Yohei Masugi, Hirofumi Kobayashi, Hideo Yano and Kimitaka Nakazawa
Here we report an acute effect of aquatic pole walking (PW) training intervention on a 64-year-old male patient with chronic hemiparesis and symptoms of spasticity in the right lower limb. A comparison of over ground walking before and after 20 minutes of aquatic PW training revealed a significant improvement in gait performance. As a main result, the average speed of walking after the intervention was 0.16 m/s after the intervention as compared to 0.04 m/s in the initial condition. The time taken for each stride cycle was drastically decreased, mainly due to shortening of the stance time. Underlying the improved gait performance was the emergence of functional muscle activity in the paralyzed and spastic leg muscles. The result observed in this patient should be further tested among a large population of patients presenting similar symptoms. Moreover, the basic mechanisms underlying aquatic PW intervention should be further elucidated.