Long-term effectiveness of neuromuscular electrical stimulation for promoting motor recovery of the upper extremity after stroke
Ziling Lin, Tiebin Yan
Objective: To investigate the long-term efficacy of neuromuscular electrical stimulation in enhancing motor recovery in the upper extremities of stroke patients.
Methods: A total of 46 patients with stroke were assigned to a neuromuscular electrical stimulation group or a control group. All patients received a standard rehabilitation programme. Patients in the neuromuscular electrical stimulation group received neuromuscular electrical stimulation for 30 min, 5 days a week for 3 weeks. Measurements were recorded before treatment, at the 2nd and 3rd week of treatment and 1, 3 and 6 months after treatment ended. The Modified Ashworth Scale for spasticity, the upper extremity section of the Fugl-Meyer motor assessment, and the Modified Barthel Index were used to assess the results.
Results: Significant improvements were found in both groups in terms of Fugl-Meyer motor assessment, and Modified Ashworth Scale scores after the 3rd week of treatment. The significant improvements persisted 1 month after treatment had been discontinued. At 3 and 6 months after treatment was discontinued the average scores in the neuromuscular electrical stimulation group were significantly better than those in the control group.
Conclusion: Three weeks of neuromuscular electrical stimulation to the affected upper extremity of patients with stroke improves motor recovery. The effect persists for at least 6 months.
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