Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor's Name

Leonard Elbaum

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Carlos Alvarez

Third Advisor's Name

Jennifer Lander


Cerebral palsied children, Gait disorders in children

Date of Defense



The purpose of this study was to examine the kinematics of the pelvis and the right hip and the electromyographic activity of the gluteus maximus and biceps femoris during backward walking in children with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy and children without known disabilities. Subjects included 6 children, three with a diagnosis of spastic diplegia and three without known disabilities.

The results of the study showed important differences between the experimental group and the control group. Subjects with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy (SDCP) walked backwards with less hip extension, more body rotation, shorter and slower steps, and used a higher percentage of their maximum voluntary contraction than the control group. No significant differences were found between both groups in the total amount of hip sagittal range of motion; however, these motions occurred towards flexion in the group of children with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy and towards neutral and extension in the control group. Independent backward walking seems not to be an effective way to promote active hip extension in children with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy.

Clinicians using backward walking in therapeutic programs may benefit from this data.





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