Document Type : Original Articles
1 PhD Student, Department of Sport Biomechanics, School of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamadan, Iran
2 Professor, Department of Sport Biomechanics, School of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamadan, Iran
Introduction: Visual inputs in the neuromuscular response process of the central nerve system have an important role in various motor tasks. The identification of the influence of lack of visual input on gait in blind people may be useful in rehabilitation planning and correction of gait pattern. The aims of this study were to compare spatio-temporal variables and the symmetry index of gait among blind and healthy individuals, and investigate the effects of closing the eyes on kinematics of gait in healthy subjects. Materials and Methods: In the present study, 10 blind and 10 healthy subjects with similar age, height, and mass participated. Spatio-temporal variables of gait were measured in blind subjects without a cane and in normal subjects with and without vision. The differences between the two groups and the two walking conditions were determined through repeated measure and significance level of P < 0.05.Results: Stride length, step length, and gait velocity were lower in blind individuals than healthy individuals with vision (P < 0.05). Stride length, step length, and stride time in healthy individuals without vision were greater than in blind individuals. In healthy individuals without vision, stride and step time, fluctuation time, and single support time were increased while cadence was decreased. Moreover, the asymmetry index in the healthy group without vision in terms of variables of single support time, fluctuation time, and toe raised off the ground time had greater symmetry than the blind subjects. Conclusion: Blindness is accompanied with reduced walking speed and step and stride length. Lack of vision in healthy subjects, caused increased stride time, single support time, and fluctuation time and decreased cadence. Stride length, step length, and stride time in healthy subjects without vision were greater than in blind individuals. It seems that the role of proprioceptive receptors is more pronounced in blind individuals than normal individuals.