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  • Treadmill Training's Benefits Mixed for Individuals Poststroke

    For people who have had a stroke and are unable to walk at the outset of treatment, treadmill training is not likely to aid their progress toward walking independently—but for patients with stroke who are ambulatory, the intervention may significantly improve endurance and speed. These were the broad conclusions reached in a recent review of 44 trials and 2,658 participants.

    The research, to be published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (abstract only available for free at this time), focused on "randomized or quasi-randomized controlled and crossover trials of treadmill training and body weight support, individually or in combinations, for the treatment of walking after stroke." Authors focused on outcomes related to walking speed, endurance, and dependency.

    "Overall, the use of treadmill training with body weight support did not increase the chances of walking independently compared with other physiotherapy interventions," the researchers wrote. Still, while results were at best mixed for patients with stroke unable to walk, authors noted that those who could walk "appear to benefit most from this type of intervention" and that "improvements in walking endurance in people able to walk may have persisting beneficial effects."

    APTA's PTNow can put you in touch with evidence-based practice resources, including information on interventions related to stroke. The association's consumer guide to stroke is available on APTA's MoveForwardPT.com website.

    Omron Healthcare Named APTA Strategic Business Partner

    Omron Healthcare Inc, a manufacturer of personal wellness products, has been named a Strategic Business Partner of APTA. Omron is most widely known for its transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy devices.

    In an APTA press release, APTA President Paul A. Rockar Jr, PT, DPT, MS, stated, “We are pleased to welcome Omron Healthcare to APTA’s Strategic Business Partners family."

    Ranndy Kellogg, chief operating officer at Omron Healthcare Inc, said, “The American Physical Therapy Association is a leading professional organization working to improve quality of life for all people, and we are thrilled to work with them.” He added that “It’s a natural partnership for us as we share the same passion to help Americans who are in pain.”

    The APTA Strategic Business Partner program seeks to enhance business relationships and develop meaningful partnerships with for-profit companies by offering services and marketing opportunities that provide mutual benefits to partners and APTA. For further information on the APTA Strategic Business Partner program, visit the Strategic Business Partners webpage.

    Group Urges President to Acknowledge Physical Activity in SOTU Address

    While the upcoming State of the Union address will almost certainly include remarks about the economy, foreign policy, and health care, if President Barack Obama listens to a suggestion from APTA and more than 100 other organizations and companies, the speech may also include a nod to the importance of physical activity.

    In a letter to the White House delivered last week, a long list of signatories including the American Council on Exercise, the Arthritis Foundation, NIKE Inc, University of Tennessee – Chattanooga, and APTA thanked the president for the administration's promotion of healthy lifestyles through the "Let's Move" campaign, and they urged him to keep the momentum going by mentioning physical activity as a crucial component in the overall health of the country, both physical and economic.

    "Physical activity has been shown to reduce health care costs, prevent chronic disease, enhance productivity, and improve quality of life," the letter states. "With its ability to treat and prevent obesity, diabetes, heart and bone disease, and other chronic conditions, exercise is powerful medicine indeed."

    The State of the Union address is scheduled for January 28 at 9:00 pm Eastern time.