Head and trunk kinematics and kinetics in normal and cerebral palsy gait: a systematic review

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European Journal of Physiotherapy


Background: Cerebral palsy (CP) is a neuromuscular disability characterised by a persistent disorder of movement and posture due to a non-progressive lesion in a developing brain. In children with CP, gait is compromised in a variety of ways. A number of studies have suggested that there is a higher degree of biomechanical variations including kinematics and kinetics at head and trunk while analysing a CP gait. Since coordinated movements of head and trunk are important to analyse a typical gait, it is important to determine these biomechanical changes among children with CP for altered movements such as decreased head and trunk stability. Studies have also reported a variety of outcome measures for clinical use. However, the results among the studies are not consistent as there is variability for altered biomechanics based on type and level of the disorder which requires further investigation. Although clinically very useful, the data regarding the head and trunk biomechanics in children with CP is limited. In this study, a systematic review was done to determine the head and trunk kinematic and kinetics variations in CP gait compared to TD children of the same age-group. Methodology: Scientific articles were obtained by a search in databases including Science Direct, Cinahl, Springer Link, Sport discuss, Web of Science and Pubmed. Limitations used were AND/OR. Full-text articles from 1999 to 2017 in English were selected. Results: A total of 3029 records were identified that included Science Direct (n = 1854), Cinahl (n = 176), Springer Link (n = 121), Sports Discuss (n = 101), Web of Science (n = 14) and Pubmed (n = 763). After removing the duplicates, 1786 records were obtained. Fifty-one full text articles were selected for the eligibility and 27 were included in the study. Conclusions: In this review study, we conclude that children with CP have a significant difference in head and trunk kinetics and kinematics compared to age-matched TD children.

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