Changes in Bowel Function Following Exoskeletal-Assisted Walking in Persons with Spinal Cord Injury: An Observational Pilot Study.
The observational study explores the effects of exoskeleton-assisted walking (EAW) on bowel function in persons with spinal cord injury. Ten participants with T1 to T11 motor- complete paraplegia completed 25–63 sessions of EAW over a period of 12 to 14 weeks. Pre- and post-EAW training, participants were asked to report on various aspects of their bowel function as well as on their overall quality of life (QOL) as related to their bowel function. At least 5/10 participants reported improvements with frequency of bowel evacuations, less time spent on bowel management per day, fewer bowel accidents per month, reduced laxative and/or stool softener use, and improved overall satisfaction with their bowel program post-EAW training. Furthermore, 8/10 reported improved stool consistency and 7/10 reported improved bowel function related QOL. The authors noted that between 50 and 80% of the participants studied reported improvements in bowel function and/or management post-EAW training. They concluded that EAW training appeared to mitigate SCI-related bowel dysfunction.
Read the full article here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31822808/
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