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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2006 Feb;87(2):222-8.

Comparison of electric stimulation methods for reduction of triceps surae spasticity in spinal cord injury.

Author information

1
Roessingh Research & Development, Enschede, The Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To compare the effect of 3 methods of electric stimulation to reduce spasticity of the triceps surae in patients with complete spinal cord injury (SCI) and to investigate the carryover effect.

DESIGN:

Placebo-controlled study with repeated measurements after the interventions.

SETTING:

Research department affiliated with a rehabilitation hospital in the Netherlands.

PARTICIPANTS:

Ten patients with a complete SCI were recruited from the outpatient population of the rehabilitation hospital. All subjects had American Spinal Injury Association grade A impairment scores, except for one, who had grade C. The patients had no voluntary triceps surae contractibility.

INTERVENTIONS:

Forty-five minutes of cyclic electric stimulation of the agonist, antagonist, or dermatome of the triceps surae or a placebo approach.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Outcome measures were the Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS), clonus score, and the H-reflex and M wave (H/M) ratio. The electromyographic response to a stretch of the soleus over the whole range of motion was also determined. The magnitude and ankle angle at which the electromyographic response started were calculated.

RESULTS:

Stimulation of the agonist provided a significant reduction in the MAS compared with the placebo approach (P<.001). There was no significant change in the H/M ratio or the electromyographic response amplitude after any of the stimulation methods, whereas stimulation of the antagonist muscle resulted in a significant reduction in the ankle angle at which the electromyographic response started, compared with the placebo approach (P<.037).

CONCLUSIONS:

Triceps surae stimulation reduces the MAS for that specific muscle, whereas the angle at which the reflex starts changes after antagonist stimulation.

PMID:
16442976
DOI:
10.1016/j.apmr.2005.09.024
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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