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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1997 Oct;78(10):1066-71.

Lycra garments designed for patients with upper limb spasticity: mechanical effects in normal subjects.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the stretch of pronator muscles produced by a specifically designed upper-limb Lycra garment that could have a better acceptability than rigid splints in treating upper-limb spasticity.

DESIGN:

Double-blind comparison among three garments. They were designed to produce a supinating, a pronating, and no torsional force, and were individually manufactured and tested in 10 healthy volunteers.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Angular position and passive rotational stiffness of the forearm were measured with and without each of the garments immediately after the garment was fitted and every hour for 6 hours.

RESULTS:

When put on by a trained person, the supinator garment supinated the forearm in all subjects (mean, 17 degrees; p < .01; range, 5 degrees to 44 degrees) while the pronator garment pronated the forearm in 8 of 10 subjects (mean, 5 degrees; p < .01). These effects gradually decayed over 6 hours, as garment position was not readjusted. Passive rotational stiffness of the forearm increased by about 30% with each type of garment. The garments designed to produce no torsional force exerted no intrinsic rotational effect.

CONCLUSION:

Individually made Lycra garments can produce continuous stretch of muscles for several hours and may be useful in the treatment of spasticity. The garments, however, must be put on by a trained person and their position adjusted when necessary.

PMID:
9339154
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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