Decrease of hypertonia after continuous passive motion treatment in individuals with spinal cord injury.

Chang YJ, Fang CY, Hsu MJ, Lien HY, Wong MK

The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of ankle continuous passive motion on the reflex excitability and overall hypertonia of calf muscles in individuals with chronic spinal cord injury and without physical disabilities. The spinal cord injury group comprised eight individuals with chronic complete spinal cord injury and the control group comprised eight healthy people without physical disabilities. An additional eight healthy people were recruited as the sham group.  Each subject received 60 min of continuous passive motion on the ankle joint. The results showed that after 60 min of continuous passive motion of the ankle joint, the H-reflex amplitude at the soleus muscle was depressed in individuals with and without spinal cord injury. This depression persisted up to 10 min after continuous passive motion only in individuals without spinal cord injury. In individuals with spinal cord injury, the median of Modified Ashworth Scale scores decreased from 2 to 1.25 after continuous passive motion. The authors conclude that sixty minutes of continuous passive motion of the ankle joint decreased reflex excitability and overall hypertonia in people with or without spinal cord injury. The depression of overall hypertonia persisted longer than the reflex excitability in people with spinal cord injury.

Clinical Rehabilitation, 2007, 21(8):712-8

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