The National Institutes of Health has awarded Middle Tennessee State University with a $388,894 grant to determine the impact of underwater treadmill training on partially paralyzed individuals’ mobility, health and quality of life.
According to a press release, researchers at the university will use videotape and electrodes to track the gait patterns of 30 partially paralyzed individuals who participate in an underwater treadmill laboratory over a 16-week period. Some of the individuals will be part of a control group.
The investigators will evaluate each participant’s lifestyle before and after the treadmill trials. The primary goals of the study are to improve the participants’ mobility, reduce physical inactivity, increase participation in life activities and improve aerobic fitness, according to the press release.
“It could certainly be a complementary therapeutic technique that, for some, could really spell the difference between being able to be mobile on land instead of being relegated primarily to a wheelchair or a walker,” Don Morgan, PhD, professor at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), stated in the press release. “We are doing work here at MTSU that, as far as I know, is not being done anywhere else in the world at this level.”