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Spinal Cord. 2011 Aug;49(8):917-23. doi: 10.1038/sc.2011.19. Epub 2011 Mar 22.

Effects of cycling and/or electrical stimulation on bone mineral density in children with spinal cord injury.

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1
Department of Physical Therapy, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN:

Randomized clinical trial.

OBJECTIVES:

To determine the effect of cycling and/or electrical stimulation on hip and knee bone mineral density (BMD) in children with spinal cord injury (SCI).

SETTING:

Children's hospital specializing in pediatric SCI.

METHODS:

A total of 30 children, aged 5-13 years, with chronic SCI were randomized to one of three interventions: functional electrical stimulation cycling (FESC), passive cycling (PC), and non-cycling, electrically stimulated exercise (ES). Each group exercised for 1 h, three times per week for 6 months at home. The hip, distal femur and proximal tibia BMD were examined via dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) pre- and post-intervention.

RESULTS:

In all, 28 children completed data collection. The FESC group exhibited increases in hip, distal femur and proximal tibia BMD of 32.4, 6.62 and 10.3%, respectively. The PC group exhibited increases at the hip (29.2%), but no change at the distal femur (1.5%) or proximal tibia (-1.0%). The ES group had no change at the hip (-0.24%) and distal femur (3.3%), but a loss at the proximal tibia (-7.06%). There were no differences between groups or within groups over time. Significant negative correlations were found between baseline BMD and the amount of BMD change.

CONCLUSION:

Although not achieving statistical significance, hip BMD changes observed were greater than the reported 0.9-10% gains after exercise for children with and without disability. Thus, cycling with and without electrical stimulation may be beneficial for skeletal health in pediatric SCI, but further research is needed with a larger sample size.

PMID:
21423253
DOI:
10.1038/sc.2011.19
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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