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Lateral Centre of Mass Displacement can predict running in adults with traumatic brain injury

      Highlights

      • The first study to report on the predictors of running in adult Traumatic Brain Injury
      • Motor control and postural control were significantly different between runners and non-runners.
      • Strength was also significantly different between runners and non-runners
      • Spasticity, motor control and strength did not contribute to predicting a person's ability to run
      • Dynamic postural control was the best predictor of being able to run.

      Abstract

      Background

      Running is an important skill that improves a person's ability to participate in community-based social, leisure and work activities, and therefore improve quality of life. Following traumatic brain injury, many ambulant people are unable to run. Whilst established for walking, the physical impairments that limit running following traumatic brain injury remain unknown. Therefore, the primary aim of this study was to identify which physical impairments contribute to a person's ability to run post traumatic brain injury.

      Methods

      In this study, 88 adults with traumatic brain injury were included. Runners and non-runners were compared regarding their clinical assessment of physical impairments, including postural control, focal muscle spasticity, muscle strength, self-selected walking speed and ability to run. Participants also completed a three-dimensional quantitative gait analysis to assess motor skill using the Gait Profile Score. Logistic regression was applied to identify the most important predictors for the ability to run.

      Findings

      Significant differences between runners and non-runners were found for postural control, motor control and strength. Dynamic postural control, measured by lateral center of mass displacement, was the best predictor of running, with every centimeter increase in lateral center of mass movement during walking associated with a 30% reduction in the chance of being able to run.

      Interpretation

      Lateral center of mass displacement should be considered when selecting interventions for ambulant patients with the goal to run. Although postural control, motor control and muscle strength were all different between runners and non-runners, they did not contribute to a person's ability to run.

      Keywords

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