Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Treadmill Training, SMO's and Down Syndrome

Physical Therapy published research on the use of supramalleolar orthosis (SMO) and treadmill training in infants with Down Syndrome. Seventeen infants were assigned to treadmill training with SMO's or treadmill training without SMO's. The infants received 3 minutes of treadmill training until the infant was able to take 3 steps independently. One month following the motor skill acquisition of independently taking 3 steps the Gross Motor Function Measure was administered. The infants who did the treadmill training without the SMO's had higher scores on the Gross Motor Function Measure in standing, walking, running and jumping. The researchers concluded that the use of orthosis may have a "detrimental effect of overall gross motor development".

Reference: Looper, Julia, Ulrich, Dale A. Effect of Treadmill Training and Supramalleolar Orthosis Use on Motor Skill Development in Infants With Down Syndrome
PHYS THER 2010 0: ptj.20090021


Anonymous said...

Well that is meaningful research to me, Margaret. I'd want to see those SMOs. Isn't the GMFM for evaluating children with CP. I must be getting old if I got that wrong. 'Higher scores' but by how much?

I promote treadmill training trials and use. I also think a poorly supported ankle is a disadvantage while learning to take steps.

Usually PT is good enough journal, but sometimes the pedi articles are stinkers. Do you belong to the Pedi Section? The section journal makes for pretty good reading. Barbara

Your Therapy Source Inc said...

Regarding the Gross Motor Function Measure, it has been validated for use in children with cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome and children with TBI, not sure about other diagnoses. One serious deficit of the study was the evaluators were not blinded to which group the children were in (orthoses vs non orthoses). I can agree that an ankle in some cases need to be supported but at other times I do think it hinders further motor development (not usually with SMO's though).

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