author: Goktepe A.
publication: J Spinal Cord Med.
To compare the t-scores of proximal femur and lumbar spine of patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) with different levels of weight bearing.
Cross-sectional study comparing 3 groups of patients with SCI: patients with daily standing times of more than 1 hour, patients with daily standing times of less than 1 hour, and nonstanding patients. Seventy-one patients with chronic SCI were recruited. They were assigned to 1 of 3 groups according to their reported daily standing time. The bone density of lumbar and proximal femoral regions was measured with dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry.
The 3 groups were similar in terms of demographics and clinical variables. No significant difference was found among the mean t-scores of lumbar and proximal femoral regions of the groups. However, the patients in the group that stood more than 1 hour daily had a slight tendency to have higher t-scores than those in the control group.
There was no significant difference among the 3 groups. However, standing might be partially helpful in protecting the bone density in SCI by opposing the effects of immobilization.
date: 1994 May;4(3):138-43.
author: Goemaere S.
publication: Osteoporos Int.
Bone mineral density (BMD) was assessed by dual-photon X-ray absorptiometry at the lumbar spine (L3, L4), the proximal femur and the femoral shaft, and by single-photon absorptiometry at the forearm in 53 patients with complete traumatic paraplegia of at least 1 year’s duration and in age- and sex-matched healthy controls. The patients did (n = 38) or did not (n = 15) regularly perform passive weightbearing standing with the aid of a standing device. Compared with the controls, the BMD of paraplegic patients was preserved in the lumbar spine and was markedly decreased in the proximal femur (33%) and the femoral shaft (25%). When considering all patients performing standing, they had a better-preserved BMD at the femoral shaft (p = 0.009), but not at the proximal femur, than patients not performing standing. BMD at the lumbar spine (L3, L4) was marginally higher in the standing group (significant only for L3; p = 0.040). A subgroup of patients performing standing with use of long leg braces had a significantly higher BMD at the proximal femur than patients using a standing frame or a standing wheelchair (p = 0.030). The present results suggest that passive mechanical loading can have a beneficial effect on the preservation of bone mass in osteoporosis found in paraplegics.
Bone mineral density in upper and lower extremities during 12 months after spinal cord injury measured by peripheral quantitative computed tomography
date: 2000 Jan;38(1):26-32.
author: Frey-Rindova P.
publication: Spinal Cord.
To evaluate the loss of trabecular and cortical bone mineral density in radius, ulna and tibia of spinal cord injured persons with different levels of neurologic lesion after 6, 12 and 24 months of spinal cord injury (SCI).
Prospective study in a Paraplegic Centre of the University Hospital Balgrist, Zurich.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS:
Twenty-nine patients (27 males, two females) were examined by the highly precise peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) soon after injury and subsequently at 6, 12 and in some cases 24 months after SCI. Using analysis of the bone mineral density (BMD), various degrees of trabecular and cortical bone loss were recognised. A rehabilitation program was started as soon as possible (1-4 weeks) after SCI. The influence of the level of neurological lesion was determined by analysis of variance (ANOVA). Spasticity was assessed by the Ashworth Scale.
The trabecular bone mineral density of radius and ulna was significantly reduced in subjects with tetraplegia 6 months (radius 19% less, P<0.01; ulna 6% less, P>0.05) and 12 months after SCI (radius 28% less, P<0.01; ulna 15% less, P<0.05). The cortical bone density was significantly reduced 12 months after SCI (radius 3% less, P<0.05; ulna 4% less, P<0.05). No changes in BMD of trabecular or cortical bone of radius and ulna were detected in subjects with paraplegia. The trabecular BMD of tibia was significantly reduced 6 months (5% less, P<0.05) and 12 months after SCI (15% less, P<0.05) in all subjects with SCI. The cortical bone density of the tibia only was decreased after a year following SCI (7% less, P<0.05). No significant difference between both groups, subjects with paraplegia and subjects with tetraplegia was found for tibia cortical or trabecular BMD. There was no significant influence for the physical activity level or the degree of spasticity on bone mineral density in all subjects with SCI.
Twelve months after SCI a significant decrease of BMD was found in trabecular bone in radius and in tibia of subjects with tetraplegia. In subjects paraplegia, a decrease only in tibia BMD occurred. Intensity of physical activity did not significantly influence the loss of BMD in all subjects with para- and tetraplegia. However, in some subjects regular intensive loading exercise activity in early rehabilitation (tilt table, standing) can possibly attenuate the decrease of BMD of tibia. No influence was found for the degree of spasticity on the bone loss in all subjects with SCI
date: 2007 Jun;86(6):499-506
author: Edwards LC, Layne CS.
publication: Am J Phys Med Rehabil
To determine whether individuals who have a spinal cord injury have neuromuscular and physiologic responses to a personalized exercise program during dynamic weight bearing (DWB).
Four subjects with spinal cord injuries (T6, T5-6, C2-5, and C5) completed a 12-wk exercise program that included DWB. Surface electromyography (EMG) was recorded from the right gastrocnemius, biceps femoris, rectus femoris, rectus abdominus, and external oblique. Heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP) were recorded throughout training. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data.
The results of this study indicate that the subjects actively responded to exercise during DWB, as measured by EMG, HR, and BP.
The results suggest that exercise during DWB can induce physiologic and neuromuscular responses in individuals who have a spinal cord injury, and that exercise during DWB may serve as a preparatory program for more advanced rehabilitation.
Leg skin temperature with body-weight-supported treadmill and tilt-table standing training after spinal cord injury
date: 2011 Jan;49(1):149-53. doi:
author: Cotie LM.
publication: Spinal Cord.
PubMed ID: 20479767
Effects of body-weight-supported treadmill (BWST) and tilt-table standing (TTS) training on skin temperature and blood flow after spinal cord injury (SCI).
McMaster University, Canada.
Seven individuals with SCI participated in BWST and TTS training (3 times per week for 4 weeks, 4-week detraining between protocols). Skin temperature was measured before and after a single session of BWST or TTS, pre- and post-training. Leg blood flow was measured at rest pre- and post-training.
Resting skin temperature decreased at four sites after 4 weeks of BWST training in comparison with the pre-training. Four weeks of TTS training resulted in resting skin temperature decreases post-training at the right thigh only. Both BWST and TTS training resulted in altered reactivity of skin temperature at all sites except the right calf in response to a single session of BWST and TTS. Post-BWST training, a single session of BWST stimulated increased temperature at all sites, whereas after TTS training a single session of TTS resulted in temperature decreases at two of the six sites. No changes were observed in resting blood flow with either BWST or TTS training.
Increased resting skin temperature and decreased skin temperature reactivity have been linked to the development of pressure sores. BWST and TTS may stimulate different skin temperature responses and the impact on pressure sore development warrants further investigation.
date: 1993 Oct;74(10):1121-2
author: Bohannon R.
publication: Arch Phys Med Rehabil
A patient with a T12 spinal cord injury and intractable extensor spasms of the lower extremities participated in tilt table standing trial on 5 nonconsecutive days to determine if the intervention would affect his spasticity and spasms. Each day’s standing trial was followed by an immediate reduction in lower extremity spasticity (measured using the modified Ashworth scale and pendulum testing). Standing was also accompanied by a reduction in spasms that lasted until the following morning. The reduction of spasms was particularly advantageous to the performance of car transfers. Tilt table standing merits further examination as a physical treatment of spasms that accompany central nervous system lesions.
Does 12 weeks of regular standing prevent loss of ankle mobility and bone mineral density in people with recent spinal cord injuries?
author: Ben M.
publication: Aust J Physiother.
The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a 12-week standing program on ankle mobility and femur bone mineral density in patients with lower limb paralysis following recent spinal cord injury. An assessor-blinded within-subject randomised controlled trial was undertaken. Twenty patients with lower limb paralysis following a recent spinal cord injury were recruited. Subjects stood weight-bearing through one leg on a tilt-table for 30 minutes, three times each week for 12 weeks. By standing on one leg a large dorsiflexion stretch was applied to the ankle and an axial load was applied to the bones of the weight-bearing leg. Ankle mobility and femur bone mineral density of both legs were measured at the beginning and end of the study. Ankle mobility (range of motion) was measured with the application of a 17 Nm dorsiflexion torque. Femur bone mineral density was measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). The effect of standing was estimated from the difference between legs in mean change of ankle mobility and femur bone mineral density. The results indicated a mean treatment effect on ankle mobility of 4 degrees (95% CI 2 to 6 degrees) and on femur bone mineral density of 0.005 g/cm(2) (95% CI -0.015 to 0.025 g/cm(2)). Tilt-table standing for 30 minutes, three times per week for 12 weeks has a small effect on ankle mobility, and little or no effect on femur bone mineral density. It is unclear whether clinicians and patients would consider such effects to be clinically worthwhile.
Pilot randomized controlled trial to assess the impact of additional supported standing practice on functional ability post stroke
date: 2007 Jul;21(7):614-9.
author: Allison R, Dennett R.
publication: Clin Rehabil.
To investigate whether provision of additional standing practice increases motor recovery and mobility post stroke.
A pilot randomized controlled trial.
A stroke rehabilitation unit in the UK.
Seventeen participants, seven women and ten men, age range 51-92 admitted to the unit 6-58 days post stroke.
Each participant was randomly allocated into a control (conventional physiotherapy) or treatment (conventional therapy plus an additional session of standing practice) group. The period of intervention ranged from 14 to 28 days dependent upon length of stay on the unit.
The Gross Functional Tool Section of the Rivermead Motor Assessment, the Trunk Control Test and the Berg Balance Scale were used on admission to the study, at weekly intervals during the intervention, and at 12 weeks (after discharge).
Of the 17 participants recruited, three withdrew from the additional intervention group citing fatigue as a barrier and 15 completed the study. Participants completing additional standing practice demonstrated higher scores in all motor measures at week 12, but this difference was not statistically significant. There was a statistically significant difference (P < 0.05) in the changes in Berg Balance score when comparing week 1 with week 12, in support of the group receiving extra standing practice.
A larger study is required to establish the value of additional standing practice after stroke. This pilot demonstrates that the Gross Functional Tool Section of the Rivermead Motor Assessment and the Berg Balance Scale would be useful in such a study. Fatigue may be a significant barrier to ability to participate in more intensive programmes so screening participants for severe fatigue may be useful.
Comparison of the effects of body-weight-supported treadmill training and tilt-table standing on spasticity in individuals with chronic spinal cord injury.
author: Adams MM, Hicks AL.
publication: J Spinal Cord Med.
PubMed ID: 22118256
Determine the effects of body-weight–supported treadmill training (BWSTT) and tilt-table standing (TTS) on clinically assessed and self-reported spasticity, motor neuron excitability, and related constructs in individuals with chronic spinal cord injury (SCI).
Seven individuals with chronic SCI and spasticity performed thrice-weekly BWSTT for 4 weeks and thrice-weekly TTS for 4 weeks, separated by a 4-week wash-out. Clinical (Modified Ashworth Scale, Spinal Cord Assessment Tool for Spinal reflexes) and self-report (Spinal Cord Injury Spasticity Evaluation Tool, Penn Spasm Frequency Scale) assessments of spasticity, quality of life (Quality of Life Index Spinal Cord Injury Version – III), functional mobility (FIM Motor Subscale), plus soleus H-reflex were measured at baseline, after the first training session and within 2 days of completing each training condition.
In comparison with TTS, a single session of BWSTT had greater beneficial effects for muscle tone (effect size (ES) = 0.69), flexor spasms (ES = 0.57), and the H/M ratio (ES = 0.50). Similarly, flexor spasms (ES = 0.79), clonus (ES = 0.66), and self-reported mobility (ES = 1.27) tended to benefit more from 4 weeks of BWSTT than of TTS. Participation in BWSTT also appeared to be favorable for quality of life (ES = 0.50). In contrast, extensor spasms were reduced to a greater degree with TTS (ES = 0.68 for single session; ES = 1.32 after 4 weeks).
While both BWSTT and TTS may provide specific benefits with respect to spasticity characteristics, data from this pilot study suggest that BWSTT may result in a broader range of positive outcomes.