2015 Volume 27 Issue 9 Pages 2675-2681
[Purpose] To explore the differences in bilateral trunk muscle activation between chronic stroke patients and healthy controls, this study investigated the symmetry index and cross-correlation of trunk muscles during trunk flexion and extension movements. This study also assessed the differences in trunk reposition error between groups and the association between trunk reposition error and bilateral trunk muscle activation. [Subjects and Methods] Fifteen stroke patients and 15 age- and gender-matched healthy subjects participated. Bilateral trunk muscle activations were collected by electromyography during trunk flexion and extension. Trunk reposition errors in trunk flexion and extension directions were recorded by a Qualisys motion capture system. [Results] Compared with the healthy controls, the stroke patients presented lower symmetrical muscle activation of the bilateral internal oblique and lower cross-correlation of abdominal muscles during trunk flexion, and lower symmetry index and cross-correlation of erector spinae in trunk extension. They also showed a larger trunk extension reposition error. A smaller trunk reposition error was associated with higher cross-correlation of bilateral trunk muscles during trunk movements in all subjects. [Conclusion] Trunk muscle function during symmetrical trunk movements and trunk reposition sense were impaired in the chronic stroke patients, and trunk position sense was associated with trunk muscle functions. Future studies should pay attention to symmetrical trunk movements as well as trunk extension position sense for patients with chronic stroke.