Does high intensity interval treadmill walking improve upper extremity function in chronic stroke survivors?
This study examined upper extremity function, including manual dexterity, in chronic stroke survivors following a 10-week high intensity interval treadmill walking intervention. Six stroke survivors completed two 35-minute high intensity interval treadmill walking sessions based on ventilatory threshold per week. In addition, each participant completed one 30-minute low-intensity walking session at home. Participants completed upper extremity and manual dexterity testing at baseline, acutely, and after the 10-week intervention. Contrary to the prediction made, significant improvements in both paretic and non-paretic upper-extremity function including manual dexterity were not found. While time to complete the Nine Hole Peg Test (9HPB) somewhat decreased and the number of blocks transferred in the Box and Blocks Test (BBT) slightly increased, results were not found to be statistically significant. The results do suggest, nonetheless, that high intensity interval treadmill training may lead to improvements in upper extremity function and potentially daily living in chronic stroke survivors.