J Korean Phys Ther.  2021 Aug;33(4):202-209. 10.18857/jkpt.2021.33.4.202.

Effect of Various Lower Extremity Exercises Using the Swiss Ball While Standing on Balance, Muscle Strength, Gait and Fall Efficacy in Stroke Patients: A Pilot Study

  • 1Department of Physical Therapy, Korea National University of Transportation, Chungju, Republic of Korea


This study examined whether various lower extremity exercises using a Swiss ball in the standing position could improve balance, muscle strength, gait, and fall efficacy in stroke patients.
Twenty-one stroke patients were randomly divided into three groups, each with seven participants. For four weeks, experimental group 1 performed various lower extremity exercises using a Swiss ball, while experimental group 2 executed the same exercises without a Swiss ball, and the control group underwent general physical therapy. The subjects’ knee extensor muscle strength, balance, gait, and fall efficacy were evaluated before and after the intervention using portable muscle strength measurement, the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), G-walk, and the Korean Falls Efficacy Scale (K-FES).
Knee extensor strength increased significantly in all three groups after the intervention; in particular, a significant increase was seen in experimental groups 1 and 2 compared to the control group. Moreover, all three groups had significantly better BBS scores and higher cadence after the intervention; notably, experimental group 1 had better scores and increased cadence than the control group. Additionally, gait speed was significantly increased in the experimental group 1 than in the control group. The step length of the non-affected leg was also significantly higher in the same group. The K-FES score improved significantly in all three groups, but there was no significant difference between the groups.
This study suggests that lower extremity exercises with or without a Swiss ball could be effective interventions to improve muscle strength, balance, gait, and fall efficacy in stroke patients.


Stroke; Swiss ball; Muscle Strength; Balance; Gait; Fall efficacy
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