Improving Balance and Strength Using a Pivoting/Sliding Elliptical Machine - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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Improving Balance and Strength Using a Pivoting/Sliding Elliptical Machine


Individuals with neurological disorders such as stroke and cerebral palsy often demonstrate difficulties with walking and bearing weight on their weak limb(s). This often causes a slow walk or a limp. The ability to bear weight through both legs and to transfer weight from one leg to the other is crucial for daily activities such as standing, walking, and other activities. Shifting weight from leg to leg and rotating the hips are important for smooth and safe walking. Problems with weight shifting can cause falls. The purpose of this research is to investigate the ability of a specialized elliptical exercise machine to improve hip, knee and ankle control during walking in individuals with neurological injury. Stronger hip muscles may improve balance and weight shifting leg to leg during walking.

IRB Protocol Number

Clinical Trial Categories

  • Cerebral Palsy - Pediatrics Research
  • Stroke Research
Song Joo Lee at 312-238-1425
Who Can Participate

Inclusion criteria:

  • Healthy individuals: 16 years or older
  • Individuals post stroke
    • 3 months to 5 years post stroke
    • Have a diagnosis of hemiparesis on either left or right side
    • Able to make stepping movements
  • Individuals with cerebral palsy
    • At least 16 years old
    • Have a diagnosis of either hemiplegic or diplegic cerebral palsy
    • Able to make stepping movements

Exclusion criteria:

  • Subjects who have other unrelated neurological impairments or musculoskeletal injuries.    
  • Patients who have severe pain in the paralyzed limb.
  • Subjects with severe cardiovascular disease, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure.