A pilot study of proximal strength training in Charcot‐Marie‐Tooth disease
Gait analysis of people with Charcot‐Marie‐Tooth (CMT) disease revealed proximal adaptive gait strategies to compensate for foot drop. We previously demonstrated that hip flexor muscle fatigue can limit walking endurance. This pilot study used a single‐blinded cross over design to investigate the effect of a 16‐week home‐based programme of resistance training on hip flexor muscle strength. Measures of walking endurance, gait speed, exertion, fatigue, and general activity were also recorded. The exercise protocol was based on American College of Sports Medicine recommendations. A mixed effects model was used for analysis. Twenty‐six people finished the study, with average reported exercise participation of 93%. No negative effects of exercise were observed. Significant increase in hip flexor muscle strength was observed on the left, but not the right. No changes were observed in walking speed and endurance measures. This pilot study of home‐based resistance training showed a modest improvement in hip strength but only on one side. The lack of a more significant improvement and no improvement in walking measures suggests that this training protocol may not be optimal for people with CMT and that patients may need to stratified differently for training studies in CMT.
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