Polestriding Intervention Improves Gait and Axial Symptoms in Mild to Moderate Parkinson Disease

Narayanan Krishnamurthi, Holly Shill, Darolyn O'Donnell, Padma Mahant, Johan Samanta, Abraham Lieberman, James Abbas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective To evaluate the effects of 12-week polestriding intervention on gait and disease severity in people with mild to moderate Parkinson disease (PD). Design A-B-A withdrawal study design. Setting Outpatient movement disorder center and community facility. Participants Individuals (N=17; 9 women [53%] and 8 men [47%]; mean age, 63.7±4.9y; range, 53–72y) with mild to moderate PD according to United Kingdom brain bank criteria with Hoehn & Yahr score ranging from 2.5 to 3.0 with a stable medication regimen and ability to tolerate “off” medication state. Interventions Twelve-week polestriding intervention with 12-week follow-up. Main Outcome Measures Gait was evaluated using several quantitative temporal, spatial, and variability measures. In addition, disease severity was assessed using clinical scales such as Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), Hoehn & Yahr scale, and Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire-39. Results Step and stride lengths, gait speed, and step-time variability were improved significantly (P<.05) because of 12-week polestriding intervention. Also, the UPDRS motor score, the UPDRS axial score, and the scores of UPDRS subscales on walking and balance improved significantly after the intervention. Conclusions Because increased step-time variability and decreased step and stride lengths are associated with PD severity and an increased risk of falls in PD, the observed improvements suggest that regular practice of polestriding may reduce the risk of falls and improve mobility in people with PD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)613-621
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • Exercise therapy
  • Gait
  • Neurological rehabilitation
  • Parkinson disease
  • Postural balance
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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