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NeuroRehabilitation. 2018;42(1):69-79. doi: 10.3233/NRE-172225.

Mildly disabled persons with multiple sclerosis use similar net joint power strategies as healthy controls when walking speed increases.

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Department of Rehabilitation and Health Promotion Research, Faculty of Health Science, VIA University College, Aarhus N, Denmark.
Department of Public Health - Section of Sport Science, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.



To improve walking in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS), it is essential to understand the underlying mechanisms of walking. This study examined strategies in net joint power generated or absorbed by hip flexors, hip extensors, hip abductors, knee extensors, and plantar flexors in mildly disabled persons with MS and healthy controls at different walking speeds.


Thirteen persons with MS and thirteen healthy controls participated and peak net joint power was calculated using 3D motion analysis.


In general, no differences were found between speed-matched healthy controls and persons with MS, but the fastest walking speed was significantly higher in healthy controls (2.42 m/s vs. 1.70 m/s). The net joint power increased in hip flexors, hip extensors, hip abductors, knee extensors and plantar flexors in both groups, when walking speed increased. Significant correlations between changes in walking speed and changes in net joint power of plantar flexors, hip extensors and hip flexors existed in healthy controls and persons with MS, and in net knee extensor absorption power of persons with MS only.


In contrast to previous studies, these findings suggest that mildly disabled persons with MS used similar kinetic strategies as healthy controls to increase walking speed.


Multiple sclerosis; fast walking speed; kinetic strategies; matched healthy controls; motion analysis

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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