Effect of ankle proprioceptive training on gait and risk of fall in patients with diabetic neuropathy: A randomized controlled trial.

Marwa Shafiek Saleh, Nagwa Ibrahim Rehab


Background: Alterations in gait characteristics and falls are common symptoms of patients with diabetic neuropathy. However, little is known about possible treatment strategies for improving gait ability and reduce risk of fall in patients with diabetic neuropathy.

Purpose: This study was conducted to investigate the effect of ankle proprioceptive training on gait and risk of falling in patients with diabetic neuropathy.

Methods: Thirty  patients with diabetic neuropathy from both sexes, their ages ranged from 50-65 years  were  randomly assigned to study or a control group. The study group (n= 15) received ankle proprioceptive training in addition to traditional physical therapy exercises, whereas the control group (n=15) received traditional physical therapy exercises only,  three sessions a week for eight weeks. Spatiotemporal gait parameters  (Walking velocity (cm/sec), step length of dominant limb (cm), step time (sec), cadence (step/min) and double support time (sec))  and  risk of falling were assessed for all patients in both groups before and after the treatment program.

Results: There was no significant difference between both groups in the pre-treatment mean values of all measured variables. Significant improvement was observed in the two groups between pre and post treatment measured outcomes. Furthermore, the study group recorded significantly better improvement in all measured variables compared with the control group.

Conclusion: Ankle proprioceptive training could be an excellent supplement to traditional physical therapy exercises used for improving gait and reducing  risk of falling in patients with diabetic neuropathy.

Key words: Ankle proprioceptive training, Gait,  Fall risk, Diabetic neuropathy.


Ankle proprioceptive training, Gait, Fall risk, Diabetic neuropathy.


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