Walking backward may seem counterintuitive, but to athletes in training, doing so on a treadmill builds strength and agility.
Now, a researcher with the University of Cincinnati Gardner Neuroscience Institute thinks this practice could also help patients who have experienced stroke learn to walk again.
Oluwole Awosika, MD, assistant professor in the department of neurology and rehabilitative medicine at UC and a UC Health stroke expert, is leading research examining how walking backward on a treadmill might impact sensory signaling in the brain and body to improve walking in this group of patients.
He received funding from the American Academy of Neurology ($450,000 over three years) and the National Institutes of Health ($100,000 over two years) to help continue this study.
Research projects like this one are also possible thanks to the philanthropic support of the Oliver Family Foundation, which donated $500,000 to create the Oliver Family Neurorecovery Lab fund, and the One Stroke Forward Foundation, along with other private contributors.