Background and purpose. It has been shown that trunk activation is bilateral and is likely to be intact following stroke. The purpose of this study was to determine if lower extremity muscle weakness underlies post-stroke difficulties in balancing. Methods. Dynamic balance of 29 people post-stroke was assessed by the Functional Reach Test and the Timed Up and Go Test. Bilateral lower extremity muscle force production was measured in classical manual muscle testing positions (supine, prone and sitting) using a hand-held dynamometer. Results. There was a weak correlation between lower extremity muscle force and the Functional Reach Test: from r=-O.03 to r=O.47 for the impaired extremity and from r=O.29 to r=O.53 for the sound extremity. There was a weak correlation between lower extremity muscle strength and the Timed Up and Go Test: from r=-O.30 to r=-O.53 for the impaired extremity and from r=-O.23 to r=-O.45 for the sound extremity. Conclusion. Weak correlations found in this study indicate there is a weak relationship between lower extremity force strength and dynamic standing balance, sit-stand transitions, and gait speed in people post-stroke.
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