The effect of positioning on the hand function of boys with cerebral palsy.

date: 08/01/1989
author: Noronha J, Bundy A, Groll J.
publication: Am J Occup Ther. 1989 Aug;43(8):507-12.
pubmed_ID: 2774051
The effect of positioning (sitting and prone standing) on the hand function of 10 boys (mean age = 12.5 years, SD = 1.2 years) with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy was studied. Two groups of subjects were tested twice (Tests 1 and 2) with the Jebsen-Taylor Hand Function Test (Jebsen, Taylor, Treischmann, Trotter, & Howard, 1969; Taylor, Sand, & Jebsen, 1973) to measure rate of manipulation. In addition, a scale modified from Hohlstein (1982) was used to measure quality of grasp on each subtest of the Jebsen-Taylor test. No significant differences between the mean scores of the two groups were found on the total scores of the Jebsen-Taylor test, either between Tests 1 and 2 or between sitting and prone standing. When the data from Tests 1 and 2 were combined, it was found that on one subtest–simulated feeding–the subjects performed significantly faster while in a prone standing position. On another subtest–picking up small objects–the subjects performed significantly faster while in a sitting position. Except during the simulated feeding subtest, the quality of the subjects’ grasp was observed to be mature and tailored to the objects manipulated. This paper presents considerations for analyzing positioning in relation to upper extremity tasks.

Measurement of muscle thickness as quantitative muscle evaluation for adults with severe cerebral palsy.

date: 09/01/2006
author: Ohata K, Tsuboyama T, Ichihashi N, Minami S.
publication: Phys Ther. 2006 Sep;86(9):1231-9.
pubmed_ID: 16959671

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The muscle strength of people with severe cerebral palsy (CP) is difficult to quantify because of cognitive and selective motor control problems. However, if muscle strength is related to muscle atrophy caused by activity limitation, quantitative morphological analysis such as analysis of muscle thickness (MTH), measured by ultrasound imaging, may be used to examine the muscle condition in daily use. The primary purpose of this investigation was to clarify the difference in MTH of several muscles by the motor functions used in daily activity in adults with CP with different levels of severity of involvement. The secondary purpose was to examine whether MTH is associated with age, body characteristics, and muscle spasticity. SUBJECTS: Data were collected from a convenience sample of 25 adults with severe CP. METHODS: The MTH of the biceps brachii (BB), quadriceps femoris (QF), triceps surae (TS), and longissimus (LO) muscles was measured with an ultrasound imaging device. The severity of the condition was classified with the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS), and functional status in sitting and standing was evaluated with a questionnaire administered to the staff assisting in the care of the subjects. Muscle spasticity was assessed with the Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS). RESULTS: The MTH of the QF, LO, and TS showed significant differences according to the GMFCS level, and the MTH of the QF and LO differed significantly depending on functional status during activities of daily living. Age and body mass index showed no significant correlation with the MTH of any muscle. Body weight was correlated with the MTH of the BB and LO. The girth of the extremity was correlated only with the MTH of the BB. There was no relationship between MTH and MAS scores. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: These results suggest that the MTH of the QF and LO differed significantly depending on the subjects’ motor function during daily activity. The measurement of MTH may be an alternative method of quantitative muscle evaluation for people with severe CP for whom direct measurement of muscle strength is difficult.

A randomized trial evaluation of the Oswestry Standing Frame for patients after stroke.

date: 06/19/2005
author: Bagley P, Hudson M, Forster A, Smith J, Young J.
publication: Clin Rehabil. 2005 Jun;19(4):354-64.
pubmed_ID: 15929503
BACKGROUND: Standing is believed to have benefits in addressing motor and sensory impairments after stroke. One device to facilitate standing for severely disabled patients is the Oswestry Standing Frame. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of the Oswestry Standing Frame for severely disabled stroke patients. DESIGN: A single centre, randomized controlled trial. SETTING: An inpatient stroke rehabilitation unit. SUBJECTS: Patients were recruited if they had a clinical diagnosis of stroke, were medically stable and unable to achieve any score on the Trunk Control Test or unable to stand in mid-line without the assistance of two therapists. INTERVENTION: The intervention (n = 71) and control (n = 69) groups both received usual stroke unit care but the intervention group also received a minimum of 14 consecutive days’ treatment using the standing frame. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome measure was the Rivermead Mobility Index (RMI). Secondary measures included the Barthel Index; the Rivermead Motor Assessment; the balanced sitting and sitting to standing components of the Motor Assessment Scale; the Trunk Control Test and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Blind assessment was undertaken at baseline, six weeks, 12 weeks and six months post stroke. Information on resource use was also collected. RESULTS: There was no statistically significant difference between groups in any of the outcome measures or for resource use. Mann-Whitney U-tests for the RMI change from baseline scores to six weeks, 12 weeks and six months post stroke were p = 0.310; p = 0.970 and p = 0.282, respectively. CONCLUSION: Use of the Oswestry Standing Frame did not improve clinical outcome or provide resource savings for this severely disabled patient group.

Soleus motor neuron excitability before and after standing.

date: 08/01/2004
author: Deshpande P, Shields RK.
publication: Electromyogr Clin Neurophysiol. 2004 Jul-Aug;44(5):259-64.
pubmed_ID: 15378863

H-reflexes have been used to assess the effect of various postures on the excitability of the soleus motor neuronal pool. The purpose of this study was to determine if the excitability of the motor neuron pool, measured via H-reflexes in a seated position, change after a standing protocol in able-bodied individuals. We hypothesized that the excitability of the motor neuronal pool is minimally affected by the standing protocol leading to a reproducible H-reflex. Ten healthy individuals (height = 69.05+/-2.27 inches, weight = 161.7+/-22.44 lbs, age = 27.7+/-7.0 years) participated in the study. Soleus H-reflex recruitment curves were established before and after a standing protocol in a seated position. The standing protocol involved 12 minutes of active upright standing interspersed with 10 minutes of relaxed passive standing in a standing frame, similar to a protocol currently used for spinal cord injured subjects. The maximum M-waves and H-reflex amplitudes were not systematically changed before and after standing. There was also a strong agreement between the H-reflexes and M-waves measured before and after standing (ICC = 0. 99 and .96, respectively). We conclude that the H-reflexes measured in this study were reproducible, indicating that standing had no long lasting effect on the motor neuronal pool excitability. The findings support that the method discussed in this report is appropriate to assess the effects of electrically induced standing on motor neuron pool excitability in individuals with spasticity from spinal cord injury.

Whole-body vibration training compared with resistance training: effect on spasticity, muscle strength and motor performance in adults with cerebral palsy.

date: 09/01/2006
author: Ahlborg L, Andersson C, Julin P.
publication: J Rehabil Med. 2006 Sep;38(5):302-8.
pubmed_ID: 16931460

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect on spasticity, muscle strength and motor performance after 8 weeks of whole-body vibration training compared with resistance training in adults with cerebral palsy. METHODS: Fourteen persons with spastic diplegia (21-41 years) were randomized to intervention with either whole-body vibration training (n=7) or resistance training (n=7). Pre- and post-training measures of spasticity using the modified Ashworth scale, muscle strength using isokinetic dynamometry, walking ability using Six-Minute Walk Test, balance using Timed Up and Go test and gross motor performance using Gross Motor Function Measure were performed. RESULTS: Spasticity decreased in knee extensors in the whole-body vibration group. Muscle strength increased in the resistance training group at the velocity 30 degrees /s and in both groups at 90 degrees /s. Six-Minute Walk Test and Timed Up and Go test did not change significantly. Gross Motor Function Measure increased in the whole-body vibration group. CONCLUSION: These data suggest that an 8-week intervention of whole-body vibration training or resistance training can increase muscle strength, without negative effect on spasticity, in adults with cerebral palsy.