Effects of gait training with and without proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation on balance and gait in chronic stroke patients
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University Institute of Physical Therapy (UIPT), The University of Lahore, Lahore, Pakistan
Submission date: 2020-11-18
Acceptance date: 2021-03-11
Publication date: 2023-06-01
Physiother Quart. 2023;31(2):39-44
To compare the effects of gait training with and without proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) on balance and gait in chronic stroke individuals.

It was a double-blind randomized control trial conducted at University Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation clinic, Lahore, Pakistan from March 2020 to November 2020 using non-probability convenient sampling. Sixty patients in the chronic phase of a stroke, aged between 35 and 85 years, were randomly allocated into two groups. Group A received proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation-based gait training along with routine physical therapy, while group B received only gait training and routine physical therapy. Berg balance scale (BBS) and GAITRite platinum were used as measuring equipment. The rules and regulations set by the ethical committee of the university of Lahore were followed. Data was analysed by a statistical package for social sciences, version 24.

Balance improved more significantly in group A than in group B (p < 0.05). Participants improved significantly in terms of stride length (p < 0.001), step length (p < 0.001), % swing phase (p < 0.001), BBS (p < 0.001), cadence (p < 0.001) and velocity (p < 0.001), and decreased significantly for ambulation time (p < 0.001), and % stance phase of gait cycle (p < 0.001), over the treatment period within both groups. The results of stride length, step length, ambulation time, cadence, velocity, % of swing and stance phase were insignificant for between-group comparisons.

Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation-based gait training along with routine physical therapy is more effective in improving balance as compared to routine physical therapy alone. However, for improving gait parameters, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) proves to be as effective as routine physical therapy and gait training.

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