[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of an 8-week program of Pilates exercise on gait in chronic hemiplegia patients and to determine whether or not it can be used for rehabilitation in postsrtoke patients.
[Subjects and Methods] Twenty individuals with unilateral chronic hemiparetic stroke (age, 66.1 ± 4.4 yrs; height, 162.3 ± 8.3 cm; weight, 67.4 ± 12.3 kg) participated in this study and were randomly allocated equally to either a Pilates exercise group or a control group. To identify the effects of Pilates exercise, a 3-D motion analysis with 8 infrared cameras was performed.
[Results] For the gait parameters, improvements were found in the Pilates exercise group for all variables, and statistical significance was observed for stride length, gait velocity, knee range of motion and hip range of motion. For the asymmetry indexes, insignificant improvements were found for all variables in the Pilates exercise group.
[Conclusion] In conclusion, an 8-week program of Pilates exercise had a positive influence on improving the gait ability of poststroke patients, and the intervention could be applied to poststroke patients with various levels of physical disability by adjusting the intensity of training.