Tactile and proprioceptive sensory stimulation modifies estimation of walking distance but not upright gait stability: A pilot study

Teresa Paolucci, Giulia Piccinini, Stefano Paolucci, Ennio Spadini, Vincenzo Maria Saraceni, Giovanni Morone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

[Purpose] Recently, there has been growing interest in the somatosensory system, but little data exist on the interaction between dynamic postural control and the somatosensory system. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a training program, based on tactile and proprioceptive sensory stimulation of the trunk with the use of perceptual surfaces, improved the estimation of walking distance by healthy subjects, the ability to walk toward a memorized distance without vision, and whether it increases upright gait stability. [Subjects and Methods] Ten healthy subjects with a mean age of 31.9 ± 2.5 years were enrolled and participated in 10 daily sessions of perceptive training using perceptual surfaces, for 45 minutes each session. An experimental indoor test measured the subjects’ ability to perceive walking distances to a memorized target in an indoor environment. [Results] After treatment, the distances that were traversed were closer to the target than before treatment. Trunk acceleration did not differ significantly between pre-and post-training and did not increase significantly after training. [Conclusion] Treatment with perceptual surfaces stimulating the trunk midline improves the estimation of walking distance and modifies proprioceptive gait patterns, allowing various corrective strategies to be implemented during ambulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3287-3293
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Therapy Science
Volume27
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 30 2015

Keywords

  • Gait patterns
  • Perceptual surfaces
  • Trunk midline

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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