The Influence of Different Footwear on Balance and Gait Recovery of Persons with Traumatic Brain Injury during the Second Phase of Rehabilitation
The individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) have impairments of cognitive, social and motor functions. Gait impairment is a very important factor for individuals with TBI, since it directly affects the patients’ activities of daily living and their social integration in society. Impaired gait also increases the risk of falls. Gait and balance training is an important factor for the achievement of independence, quality of life and sense of security in moving for persons with TBI, but there is no common approach to these patients’ rehabilitation and gait training methods. It is not clear whether during physiotherapy the patients who wore MBT (Masai Barefoot Technology) shoes couldundergo gait and balance recovery more efficiently than those, who wore usual shoes. The aim of the research was to evaluate the influence of different footwear on balance and gait recovery in persons with traumatic brain injury during the second phase of rehabilitation. Research sample consisted of 30 individuals (19–43 yr) who suffered mild to moderate TBI. Targeted persons were randomily divided into two groups of 15 patients: the control group consisted of 15 patients – 10 men and 5 women (age 31.6 ± 8.3 yr), who received the gait and balance training program with normal shoes in the physiotherapy room. The experimental group also consisted of 15 patients – 12 men and 3 women (age 30.6 ± 6.2 yr). The patients of the experimental group did the same exercises, but during physiotherapy they wore MBT shoes. The changes of gait indices for both groups were assessed by Emory gait scale, the changes of balance – by Fullerton balance test. The control of balance and gait significantly improved in both groups (p < 0.001) after rehabilitation. However, the balance and gait improvement in the patients with mild and moderate TBI, who were wearing MBT shoes during the physiotherapy, was exactly the same as in persons, who were wearing usual shoes during the physiotherapy. So, the significant difference between the groups (p > 0.05) was not found. The wearing of MBT shoes during the physiotherapy procedures did not affect the balance and gait recovery in persons with mild and moderate TBI.
Keywords: traumatic brain injury, physiotherapy, MBT shoes, gait.
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