A new walking aid with axillary support for children with cerebral palsy: electromyographic
To present a new walking aid with axillary support (WAAS) for children with cerebral
palsy (CP) and to investigate its impact on the lower limb muscles activation in the
gait of children with CP.
Six children with spastic diparesis due to CP performed a straight line walking course
in two situations: with and without using the WAAS. Each course was repeated three
times for both situations, and electromyography (EMG) activity of quadriceps, hamstrings,
tibialis anterior and gastrocnemius were recorded during all trials.
The use of WAAS significantly increased the EMG activity of the quadriceps and hamstrings
during stance phase and tibialis anterior during swing phase, with no significant
increase in gastrocnemius activation.
The use of WAAS improved the synergism of lower limbs muscles of children with CP
by reducing the coactivation of antagonistic muscles, especially during the swing
phase of gait. Providing a walking aid with improved trunk stability may enable children
with CP to improve muscular synergism and walking ability, thus favoring independent
mobility, with possible gains in social participation and quality of life.
IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION
Children with cerebral palsy have problems with the development of normal gait, as
a result of the reduced motor control and the impaired muscle synergism of the lower
limbs. Standard walking aids do not provide proper trunk stability for this group
of children. In a relatively small sample of children with cerebral palsy, a walking
aid with axillary support was shown to be beneficial for the muscular synergism of
the lower limbs during gait.
Botega R, Medola FO, Santos CB, Silva AT, Iunes DH, Purquerio Bde M