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Effects of Subtalar Joint Mobilization with Movement on Muscle Strength, Balance, Functional Performance, and Gait Parameters in Patients with Chronic Stroke: A Single-Blind Randomized Controlled Study

Buket BüyükturanSchool of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, Kırşehir Ahi Evran University, Kırşehir, Turkey.

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 PT, PhD
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Senem ŞaşDivision of Rheumatology, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, Erciyes University, Kayseri, Turkey.

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Caner KarartiSchool of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, Kırşehir Ahi Evran University, Kırşehir, Turkey.

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İsmail ÖzsoyDepartment of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Health Sciences, Selçuk University, Konya, Turkey.

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Aida HabibzadehDepartment of Physical Therapy Science, Faculty of Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

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Öznur BüyükturanSchool of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, Kırşehir Ahi Evran University, Kırşehir, Turkey.

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Background: Losses in muscle strength, balance, and gait are common in patients with chronic stroke (CS). Ankle joint movements play a key role in this population to maintain a sufficient level of functional activity. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of the subtalar joint (STJ) mobilization with movement (MWM) technique on muscle strength, balance, functional performance, and gait speed (GS) in patients with CS.

Methods: Twenty-eight patients with CS were randomly divided into the control group (n = 14) and the STJ MWM group (n = 14). A 30-min neurodevelopmental treatment program and talocrural joint MWM were applied to both groups. Also, STJ MWM was applied to the STJ MWM group. The patients were treated 3 days a week for 4 weeks. Ankle dorsiflexion and plantarflexion muscle strength, Berg Balance Scale, Timed Up and Go test, and GS were evaluated before and after treatment.

Results: Berg Balance Scale and Timed Up and Go test scores, dorsiflexion and plantarflexion muscle strength, and GS improved in both groups after the treatment sessions (P < .05), but the improvements were greater in the STJ MWM group compared with the control group (P < .05).

Conclusions: According to these results, STJ MWM together with neurodevelopmental treatment and talocrural joint MWM can increase ankle muscle strength, balance, functional performance, and GS on the affected leg in patients with CS.

Corresponding author: Buket Büyükturan, PT, PhD, Bağbaşı Avenue, Kırşehir Ahi Evran University, School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, 40100, Kırşehir/Turkey. (E-mail: fztkaya04@hotmail.com)