Researchers at Kessler Foundation are studying a potential application of a trunk-strengthening program to improve posture, balance, and mobility in individuals recovering from stroke. They will test the feasibility of using an electromechanical device called the AllCore360º Core Therapy and Training System in the rehabilitation of stroke survivors with hemiplegia. Rakesh Pilkar, PhD, research scientist in the Center for Mobility and Rehabilitation Engineering Research, is the principal investigator for the study, titled, "A novel trunk-strengthening program for improving posture and balance for individuals with hemiplegia post stroke," which is supported by AllCore360º (Alpharetta, GA) and Kessler Foundation.
The impact of weakness of trunk muscles after stroke is substantial. Adverse effects on posture and balance impair the performance of activities of daily living, impede recovery, and limit independence. Poor trunk control is associated with longer hospital stays, increased risk for falls, and poorer function at discharge. "Despite evidence for the importance of trunk control to functional outcomes in this population, there is a lack of a standardized approach to trunk strengthening in stroke rehabilitation," said Dr. Pilkar, "and little information on the application of electromechanical devices for this type of therapy. This pilot study enables us to test a trunk-strengthening protocol using the AllCore360º in individuals with hemiplegia, examine the underlying neuromuscular mechanisms, and measure the effects on posture, balance, and walking ability," he explained. "If preliminary findings are promising, further studies of this protocol may be warranted."
The AllCore360º is an adjustable system that leverages gravity to engage all trunk muscles in a 10-minute session. While seated in the AllCore360º, the person uses isometric contraction of their trunk muscles to hold their position while the device rotates clockwise, then counterclockwise, at different angles and positions.
Participants will be recruited from the stroke rehabilitation program at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation. All participants (10 in stroke group and 10 controls) will undergo baseline and follow-up assessments of trunk function, balance, posture, and ambulation. The stroke group will undergo the 4-week trunk-strengthening program, including neuromuscular assessment using electromyography.
We are pleased to partner with the Kessler Foundation on this pilot study aimed at expanding options for stroke rehabilitation. Having witnessed the benefits of core strengthening in people seeking to improve their health and fitness, we are optimistic that the Kessler team will see improved outcomes in individuals recovering from stroke."
Scott Bertrand, DC, founder and inventor of AllCore360º