Differential effects of power training versus functional task practice on compensation and restoration of arm function after stroke

Manuela Corti, Theresa E. McGuirk, Samuel S. Wu, Carolynn Patten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background. Improved upper-extremity (UE) movement with stroke rehabilitation may involve restoration of more normal or development of compensatory movement patterns. Objective. The authors investigated the differential effects of functional task practice (FTP) and dynamic resistance training (POWER) on clinical function and reaching kinematics in an effort to distinguish between mechanisms of gains. Methods. A total of 14 hemiparetic individuals were randomly assigned to 10 weeks of either FTP or POWER and then crossed over to 10 weeks of the alternate treatment. Treatment order A was FTP followed by POWER, whereas treatment order B was POWER followed by FTP. Evaluation before and after each treatment block included a battery of clinical evaluations and kinematics of paretic UE functional reach to grasp. Results. Both FTP and POWER improved movement accuracy, as revealed by a shift toward normal, including fewer submovements and reduced reach-path ratio. However, active range of motion revealed differential treatment effects. Shoulder flexion and elbow extension decreased with FTP and were associated with increased trunk displacement. In contrast, shoulder flexion and elbow extension excursion increased with POWER and were associated with significantly reduced trunk displacement. Treatment order B (POWER followed by FTP) revealed greater overall improvements. Conclusion. FTP increases compensatory movement patterns to improve UE function. POWER leads to more normal movement patterns. POWER prior to FTP may enhance the benefits of repetitive task practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)842-854
Number of pages13
JournalNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • kinematics
  • motor learning
  • muscle strength
  • resistance exercise
  • stroke rehabilitation
  • upper extremity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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