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The Importance of Obstacle Crossing Task and Considerations After Stroke: A Review of the Literature

Author(s): Gozde Iyigun

Stroke is the leading cause of serious long-term disability and gait problems are amongst the most important factors causing disability after stroke. Walking adaptability is a requisite to walk efficiently in everyday life to prevent falls. The capability for negotiating obstacles in the real life environment is important for the safety of stroke patients. Stroke patients may exhibit some movement modifications like maintaining the pre-obstacle distance, choosing the affected as lead limb before, during and after crossing the obstacle in order to increase the safety. The stroke patients who cross the obstacle more slowly due to movement modifications fail more on obstacle crossing task. There is a need for training of obstacle crossing task following stroke therefore community-based gait recovery programs including obstacle-crossing would be an effective rehabilitation strategy after stroke.

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