Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic disease whose symptoms may cause altered walking pattern, which is important given the relevance of walking in daily life activities. These activities use to require the ability to perform both a motor and a cognitive task simultaneously. The main aim of the current study was to evaluate the impact of performing a simultaneous cognitive task in the gait pattern of women with FM.
A total of 36 women recruited from a local association took part in this cross-sectional study. The time required to complete the 10-meters-walking-test and kinematic outcomes including number of steps, cadence, trunk tilt and ranges of motion were analyzed under single (motor task only) and dual task (motor and cognitive tasks simultaneously) conditions. The secondary task consisted in counting aloud backward in rows of two.
Results showed a significant increment in the time required to complete the test (p<0.01) when participants performed the motor and cognitive tasks at the same time. Moreover, relevant changes in kinematic parameters such as increment of number of steps (p<0.01), cadence (p<0.01), trunk tilt (p<0.01) and both hip (p<0.01) and knee (p=0.03) ranges of motion were also observed.
Adding a cognitive task to a primary motor task affects the walking motor pattern in women with FM, making it more stable and safer walking pattern when the attention is focused on two simultaneous tasks.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.