Backward Walking, Postural Control and Cerebral Palsy
Clinical Rehabilitation published research on 30 children with spastic hemiplegia cerebral palsy to determine the the effect of additional backward walking training on postural control. The intervention consisted of random assignment into two equal groups where both groups received a traditional physical therapy program for 12 weeks and the experimental group also received backward walking training which was provided 25 min/day, 3 days/week for 3 successive months.
The results were the following:
1. significant improvements in overall, anteroposterior and mediolateral stability indices of the backwards walking group at the most stable level and moderately unstable level compared to the control group.
2. there were significant improvement in all measured variables for both groups at both levels.
The researchers concluded that adding backward walking training to traditional physical therapy program results in improvements in postural stability in children with spastic hemiplegia cerebral palsy compared to traditional physical therapy alone.
Reference: Heba M Youssr El-Basatiny and Amr Almaz Abdel-aziem. Effect of backward walking training on postural balance in children with hemiparetic cerebral palsy: a randomized controlled study. Clin Rehabil May 2015 29: 457-467, first published on September 25, 2014 doi:10.1177/0269215514547654