The effect of unilateral blood flow restriction on temporal and spatial gait parameters
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- Heliyon, 2019, 5 (1)
- Issue Date:
© 2019 The Authors Blood flow restriction walking (BFR-W) is becoming more frequently used in aerobic and strength training and it has been proposed that BFR-W can be used in clinical populations. BFR-W may change gait stability yet few studies have assessed gait changes during or following BFR-W. The aim of this study was to assess if spatial-temporal gait parameters change during and following BFR-W. Twenty-four participants completed two walking sessions (>48-hours apart); 1) Unilateral BFR-W applied at the dominant thigh, 2) walking without BFR. In each session participants performed a 5-min warmup, 15-min walking intervention and 10-min active recovery. The warmup and active recovery were performed without BFR on both days. Measurements were attained at baseline, during the intervention and post-intervention using the GAITRite®. Linear mixed models were applied to each measured variable. Fixed factors were timepoint (warmup, intervention, and active recovery), condition (BFR-W and control walking) and condition × timepoint. Random factors were subject and subject × condition. Participants took shorter (3.2-cm (mean difference), CI95%: 0.8–5.6-cm) and wider strides (1.4-cm, CI95%: 0.9–1.9-cm) during BFR-W. For single leg measures, participants took shorter steps (2.8-cm, CI95%: 1.7–4.0-cm) with a faster single support time (7.5-ms, CI95%: 2.9–12.0-ms) on the non-dominant (unoccluded) leg during BFR-W compared to the non-dominant leg during control walking. There were no differences in step length and single support time between the dominant (occluded) leg during BFR-W compared to the dominant leg during control walking. There were no significant changes in velocity, cadence or double support time between BFR-W and control walking (P > 0.05). BFR-W caused small transient changes to several gait parameters. These changes should be considered when using BFR-W in clinical populations.
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