Effects of an intensive Nordic walking intervention on the balance function and walking ability of individuals with Parkinson’s disease: a randomized controlled pilot trial
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Parkinson’s disease (PD) is associated with impairment in balance and postural control, accompanied by a progressive reduction in the speed and amplitude of movement.
The aim of our study was to evaluate the therapeutic effects of Nordic walking on a treadmill on the balance function and walking ability of individuals with PD.
Twenty participants with stage 1–3 PD in the Hoehn and Yahr scale were randomly allocated to the Nordic walking training (NWT) group and treadmill training (TT) group, with ten participants per group. Measured outcomes included: the motor subscale of the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS-M), the Berg balance scale (BBS), the Timed Up-and-go test (TUG), the 10-meter walk test (10 MWT), and the 6-minute walk test (6 MWT).
Improvement on all outcome measures was identified from pre-to-post intervention for both groups (p < 0.05). Post-intervention, there was a significant between-group difference on measured outcomes (p < 0.05). The NWT group exhibited greater improvement in the UPDRS-M (p = 0.006; 95 % CI 0.825–4.374), BBS (p = 0.002; 95 % CI 1.307–5.092), TUG (p = 0.048; 95 % CI 0.028–2.582), 10 MWT (p = 0.047; 95 % CI 0.108–2.306), and 6 MWT (p = 0.003; 95 % CI 20.302–42.097) compared to the TT group.
Our outcomes provide evidence of the therapeutic benefit of Nordic walking on a treadmill to improve balance function and walking ability in individuals with PD.
KeywordsParkinson’s disease Nordic walking training Balance Walking
This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest statement
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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