Content » Vol 36, Issue 4

Addition of intensive repetition of facilitation exercise to multidisciplinary rehabilitation promotes motor functional recovery of the hemiplegic lower limb


DOI: 10.1080/16501970410029753

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the effects of the intensive repetition of movements elicited by the facilitation technique to improve voluntary movement of a hemiplegic lower limb in patients with brain damage. Design: A multiple-baseline design (A-B-A-B: A without specific therapy, B with specific therapy) across individuals. Patients: The sample comprised 22 subjects with stroke and 2 brain tumour-operated subjects (age: 50.7 ± 9.6 years, time after onset: 7.1 ± 2.6 weeks). They were selected from among 165 patients with stroke who were admitted to our rehabilitation centre from September 1, 1995 to March 31, 1997. Methods: Two 2-week facilitation technique sessions (more than 100 repetitions a day for each of 5 kinds of movement) were applied at 2-week intervals in patients with hemiplegia, who were being treated with continuous conventional rehabilitation exercise without the facilitation technique for hemiplegia. Motor function of the affected lower limb (Brunnstrom Recovery Stage of hemiplegia, the foot-tap test and the strength of knee extension/flexion) and walking velocity were evaluated at 2-week intervals. Results: Significant improvements in Brunnstrom Stage, foot-tapping and the strength of knee extension/flexion of the affected lower limb were seen after the first conventional rehabilitation exercise session and after the first and second facilitation technique and conventional rehabilitation exercise sessions. The improvements after facilitation technique and conventional rehabilitation exercise sessions were significantly greater than those after the preceding conventional rehabilitation exercise sessions. Conclusion: Intensive repetition of movement elicited by the facilitation technique (chiefly proprioceptive neuromuscural facilitation pattern, stretch reflex and skin-muscle reflex) improved voluntary movement of a hemiplegic lower limb in patients with brain damage.

Lay Abstract

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