Leg skin temperature with body-weight-supported treadmill and tilt-table standing training after spinal cord injury
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STUDY DESIGN: Randomized crossover. OBJECTIVES: Effects of body-weight-supported treadmill (BWST) and tilt-table standing (TTS) training on skin temperature and blood flow after spinal cord injury (SCI). SETTING: McMaster University, Canada. METHODS: Seven individuals with SCI participated in BWST and TTS training (3 times per week for 4 weeks, 4-week detraining between protocols). Skin temperature was measured before and after a single session of BWST or TTS, pre- and post-training. Leg blood flow was measured at rest pre- and post-training. RESULTS: Resting skin temperature decreased at four sites after 4 weeks of BWST training in comparison with the pre-training. Four weeks of TTS training resulted in resting skin temperature decreases post-training at the right thigh only. Both BWST and TTS training resulted in altered reactivity of skin temperature at all sites except the right calf in response to a single session of BWST and TTS. Post-BWST training, a single session of BWST stimulated increased temperature at all sites, whereas after TTS training a single session of TTS resulted in temperature decreases at two of the six sites. No changes were observed in resting blood flow with either BWST or TTS training. CONCLUSION: Increased resting skin temperature and decreased skin temperature reactivity have been linked to the development of pressure sores. BWST and TTS may stimulate different skin temperature responses and the impact on pressure sore development warrants further investigation.
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