Toddler treadmill training may stall neuromotor delay

March 2, 2010

Use of a treadmill may help infants who have prenatal complications or were injured at birth walk earlier and better, according to researchers at the School of Kinesiology, University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor. Angulo-Barroso and associates1 studied developmental changes in treadmill stepping and physical activity in 15 infants at risk for neuromotor delay and explored these changes by diagnosis of cerebral palsy.

Use of a treadmill may help infants who have prenatal complications or were injured at birth walk earlier and better, according to researchers at the School of Kinesiology, University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor. Angulo-Barroso and associates1 studied developmental changes in treadmill stepping and physical activity in 15 infants at risk for neuromotor delay and explored these changes by diagnosis of cerebral palsy.

Infants increased alternating steps, decreased toe contacts, and increased high-level physical activity. Those who had cerebral palsy showed fewer alternating steps, more toe contacts, and less high-level physical activity than those who did not. Infants’ alternating steps and high-level physical activity revealed a positive correlation with earlier onset of walking.

The authors noted that more studies are needed to examine whether a treadmill intervention could improve mobility in infants at risk for neuromotor delay.

References:

1. Angulo-Barroso RM, Tiernan CW, Chen LC, et al. Treadmill responses and physical activity levels of infants at risk for neuromotor delay. Pediatr Phys Ther. 2010;22:61-68.