The effect of load carriage on balance and posture in adults with cerebral palsy

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The effect of load carriage on balance and posture in adults with cerebral palsy


Author: Lai, Siu-yin
Title: The effect of load carriage on balance and posture in adults with cerebral palsy
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2009
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Spine -- Wounds and injuries.
Backpacking -- Physiological aspects.
Cerebral palsied -- Health and hygiene.
Department: Dept. of Health Technology and Informatics
Pages: x, 104 p. : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: Background and Purposes: Evidence showed that load carriage affected the balance and posture for normal population. External loading may also have adverse effect on the balance and posture to persons with cerebral palsy (CP). The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of load carriage for adults with CP on their static standing posture as well as static and dynamic balance with different carrying methods. Methods: Convenience sampling of 14 participants, aged from 21 to 45, with spastic CP were recruited in this study. Seven were group into unilateral spastic group and seven in bilateral spastic group. They were asked to perform 7 carriage conditions: unloaded, combinations of backpack loads (1kg, 3kg or 5kg) and backpack positions (at the back or in front of chest). The load was aligned with the subject's T12 level. Centre of pressure (COP) data using a force platform, sagittal postural changes by photography and expanded timed up-and-go (ETUG) test were assessed. The data were compared using 2-way repeated measured ANOVA to analyze the within and between subject effects. Results: Posterior carriage significantly promoted better static shoulder posture but increased ankle dorsiflexion in 3kg and 5kg loading conditions, while more forward head posture and medio-lateral sway were significantly induced in 5kg loading condition in both groups of CP. Anterior carriage by persons with CP adversely affected the dynamic balance, especially with 3kg and 5kg loading. For bilateral CP group, more rounded shoulder posture was induced in 3kg and 5kg anterior carriage conditions. The 5kg load carriage condition showed a trend of decrease in static and dynamic balance; the 3kg loading, especially in posterior conditions, trended to promote static standing balance on CP; the 1kg loading did not show obvious difference from unloaded condition. Conclusion: Based on this information, posterior carriage of 3kg or below, or anterior carriage of 1kg would be suggested for the person with CP. However, further studies about other physiological parameters and their long-term effects are recommended before a consolidated conclusion can be made.

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