Authors: Doina Ioana Badea1, Ileana Ciobanu2, Roxana Popa3, Petre Lucian Seiciu4, Mihai Berteanu1,2
1 Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, Romania
2 Elias University Emergency Hospital, Bucharest, Romania
3 GFT IT Consulting, S.L.U. Sant Cugat del Vallès, Spain
4 Department of Machine Elements and Tribology, Politehnica University of Bucharest, Romania
Background. In recent years, gait rehabilitation research has focused on developing systems for central neurological diseases affecting the gait patterns of patients. However, most systems lack pelvis mechanisms that can control the rotational movements of the pelvis. RELIVE overground gait rehabilitation is a system designed to control obliquity.
Aims. This study investigates how the alternator – the RELIVE’s subsystem that controls translational and rotational movement of the pelvis – influences gait in healthy subjects and is part of a more complex research.
Methods. The study took place in 2021 in the Elias Emergency University Hospital and 15 healthy subjects participated. We used in-shoe sensors from Tekscan, for gathering data regarding plantar pressure distribution, during various gait sessions with the RELIVE system. The gait sessions included walking with hands alongside the body, with the alternator turned on or off and with different degrees of body weight support. The gathered data was statistically analyzed with IBM SPSS Statistics v28 tool.
Results. When the alternator was turned on, the values of average plantar pressure decreased during the sessions characterized by walking hands free with the same percentage of body weight support. Statistically significant differences (p-value<0.05) were recorded comparing the gait sessions at 0 and 20% body weight offload. At 10% body weight offload, the differences were not statistically significant.
Conclusions. The results showed that the alternator subsystem might be able to offload the participant’s weight to some extent. More investigations should be considered in the following studies, including more comparisons between other gait sessions.
Keywords: plantar pressure, gait rehabilitation, overground system, pelvic mechanism.