The use of Nordic walking and rhythmic auditory stimulation in neuromotor rehabilitation: a literature review

Authors: Damian Kania, Patrycja Romaniszyn-Kania, Anna Mańka, Andrzej Myśliwiec, Andrzej W. Mitas

Published online:  20 October 2020

Abstract: The nervous system is responsible for balance and locomotion, while its capacity determines walking as a complex motor activity. However, recovery of locomotion function is a long-term process. Neuromotor rehabilitation methods combining conventional rehabilitation with sensorimotor stimulation based on the use of auditory stimuli or coordination integration should be further developed while new relationships between the stimuli used and the effects obtained should be examined. One of the interesting proposals to combine these two aspects is the use of gait rehabilitation in combination with rhythmic auditory stimulation (RAS). All literature reports published to date have supported the thesis of the beneficial effects of RAS on the results obtained in patients with gait disturbances. Another example of using popular forms of physical activity in rehabilitation programs is walking with poles, known as Nordic walking (NW). Despite its short history, the sport has gained much popularity among the forms of physical activity used not only for recreational purposes but also for improving health. This study attempts to present the current state of knowledge on the benefits of Nordic walking and the effect of the use of metrorhythmic stimulation on the outcomes of neuromotor rehabilitation. For this purpose, the databases of the libraries in two universities in Poland (the Jerzy Kukuczka Academy of Physical Education in Katowice and the Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice) were searched. Furthermore, available online public databases (PubMed and Google Scholar) were also used. More than 500 papers were found. However, based on the inclusion criteria used, only 28 literature items were selected for further analysis. In conclusion, based on the knowledge gained, both the forms of physical activity that use RAS and those based on Nordic walking can have a positive effect on locomotor function in patients.