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.
Reduced bone mineral density (BMD) in childhood is a risk factor for osteoporosis in later life. This case-control study determined the prevalence of low BMD, calcium intake and physical activity in 62 haemophilic children and 62 sex-, race- and age-matched healthy boys as controls. Lumbar spine (L2-L4) BMD was determined by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry; BMD was considered to be low when Z-score > or =2. Physical activity was assessed using a validated questionnaire and calcium intake with a standardized quantitative food frequency questionnaire. Twenty-four patients (38%) had low BMD, whereas this was found in only 10 (16%) controls [odds ratio (OR) 2.86, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.17-7.41; P = 0.014]. Lumbar BMD was significantly lower in the haemophilia patients than the controls (-1.6 +/- 1.0 vs. -0.9 +/- 0.9 respectively; P = 0.0004). Sedentary and low-grade exercise predominated in haemophilia (77%) versus control (50%) (OR 3.2, 95% CI 1.36-7.79; P = 0.003). There were no differences between groups with regard to calcium intake. Our results suggest that low-physical activity is a risk factor for reduced lumbar bone mass in the haemophilic group. This factor must be monitored to avoid a significant reduction in BMD that might contribute to further skeletal fragility.
The purpose was to: 1) perform a systematic review of studies examining the relation between physical activity, fitness, and health in school-aged children and youth, and 2) make recommendations based on the findings.
The systematic review was limited to 7 health indicators: high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, the metabolic syndrome, obesity, low bone density, depression, and injuries. Literature searches were conducted using predefined keywords in 6 key databases. A total of 11,088 potential papers were identified. The abstracts and full-text articles of potentially relevant papers were screened to determine eligibility. Data was abstracted for 113 outcomes from the 86 eligible papers. The evidence was graded for each health outcome using established criteria based on the quantity and quality of studies and strength of effect. The volume, intensity, and type of physical activity were considered.
Physical activity was associated with numerous health benefits. The dose-response relations observed in observational studies indicate that the more physical activity, the greater the health benefit. Results from experimental studies indicate that even modest amounts of physical activity can have health benefits in high-risk youngsters (e.g., obese). To achieve substantive health benefits, the physical activity should be of at least a moderate intensity. Vigorous intensity activities may provide even greater benefit. Aerobic-based activities had the greatest health benefit, other than for bone health, in which case high-impact weight bearing activities were required.
The following recommendations were made: 1) Children and youth 5-17 years of age should accumulate an average of at least 60 minutes per day and up to several hours of at least moderate intensity physical activity. Some of the health benefits can be achieved through an average of 30 minutes per day. [Level 2, Grade A]. 2) More vigorous intensity activities should be incorporated or added when possible, including activities that strengthen muscle and bone [Level 3, Grade B]. 3) Aerobic activities should make up the majority of the physical activity. Muscle and bone strengthening activities should be incorporated on at least 3 days of the week [Level 2, Grade A].
date: 2006 Feb;117(2):578-85.
author: Greer FR, Krebs NF; American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition.
Most older children and adolescents in the United States currently do not achieve the recommended intake of calcium. Maintaining adequate calcium intake during childhood and adolescence is necessary for the development of peak bone mass, which may be important in reducing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis later in life. Optimal calcium intake is especially relevant during adolescence, when most bone mineral accretion occurs. Because of the influence of the family’s diet on the diet of children and adolescents, adequate calcium intake by all members of the family is important. Assessment of calcium intake can be performed in the physician’s office. A well-rounded diet including low-fat dairy products, fruits, and vegetables and appropriate physical activity are important for achieving good bone health. Establishing these practices in childhood is important so that they will be followed throughout the life span
The spinal bone mineral density (SBMD) and calcaneal broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA) was measured in 27 children with cerebral palsy. They were categorised into four mobility groups: mobile with an abnormal gait, mobile with assistance, non-mobile but weight bearing, non-mobile or weight bearing. Mean SD scores for BUA and SBMD differed among mobility groups (analysis of variance, p < 0.001 and p = 0.078, respectively).
The osteogenic potential of short durations of low-level mechanical stimuli was examined in children with disabling conditions. The mean change in tibia vTBMD was +6.3% in the intervention group compared with -11.9% in the control group. This pilot randomized controlled trial provides preliminary evidence that low-level mechanical stimuli represent a noninvasive, non-pharmacological treatment of low BMD in children with disabling conditions.
Recent animal studies have demonstrated the anabolic potential of low–magnitude, high-frequency mechanical stimuli to the trabecular bone of weight-bearing regions of the skeleton. The main aim of this prospective, double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled pilot trial (RCT) was to examine whether these signals could effectively increase tibial and spinal volumetric trabecular BMD (vTBMD; mg/ml) in children with disabling conditions.
Twenty pre-or postpubertal disabled, ambulant, children (14 males, 6 females; mean age, 9.1 +/- 4.3 years; range, 4-19 years) were randomized to standing on active (n = 10; 0.3g, 90 Hz) or placebo (n = 10) devices for 10 minutes/day, 5 days/week for 6 months. The primary outcomes of the trial were proximal tibial and spinal (L2) vTBMD (mg/ml), measured using 3-D QCT. Posthoc analyses were performed to determine whether the treatment had an effect on diaphyseal cortical bone and muscle parameters.
Compliance was 44% (4.4 minutes per day), as determined by mean time on treatment (567.9 minutes) compared with expected time on treatment over the 6 months (1300 minutes). After 6 months, the mean change in proximal tibial vTBMD in children who stood on active devices was 6.27 mg/ml (+6.3%); in children who stood on placebo devices, vTBMD decreased by -9.45 mg/ml (-11.9%). Thus, the net benefit of treatment was +15.72 mg/ml (17.7%; p = 0.0033). In the spine, the net benefit of treatment, compared with placebo, was +6.72 mg/ml, (p = 0.14). Diaphyseal bone and muscle parameters did not show a response to treatment. The results of this pilot RCT have shown for the first time that low–magnitude, high-frequency mechanical stimuli are anabolic to trabecular bone in children, possibly by providing a surrogate for suppressed muscular activity in the disabled. Over the course of a longer treatment period, harnessing bone’s sensitivity to these stimuli may provide a non-pharmacological treatment for bone fragility in children.
In this 6-month trial, twenty children with cerebral palsy (age 6.2 to 12.3 years; 6 girls) were randomized to either continue their school physiotherapy program unchanged or to receive 9 minutes of side-alternating whole-body vibration (WBV; Vibraflex Home Edition II, Orthometrix Inc) per school day in addition to their school physiotherapy program. Patients who had received vibration therapy increased the average walking speed in the 10 m walk test by a median of 0.18 ms(-1) (from a baseline of 0.47 ms(-1)), whereas there was no change in the control group (P=0.03 for the group difference in walking speed change). No significant group differences were detected for changes in areal bone mineral density (aBMD) at the lumbar spine, but at the distal femoral diaphysis aBMD increased in controls and decreased in the WBV group (P=0.03 for the group difference in aBMD change). About 1% of the WBV treatment sessions were interrupted because the child complained of fatigue or pain. In conclusion, the WBV protocol used in this study appears to be safe in children with cerebral palsy and may improve mobility function but we did not detect a positive treatment effect on bone
Severely disabled children with cerebral palsy (CP) are prone to low trauma fractures, which are associated with reduced bone mineral density.
To determine whether participation in 50% longer periods of standing (in either upright or semi-prone standing frames) would lead to an increase in the vertebral and proximal tibial volumetric trabecular bone mineral density (vTBMD) of non-ambulant children with CP.
A heterogeneous group of 26 pre-pubertal children with CP (14 boys, 12 girls; age 4.3-10.8 years) participated in this randomised controlled trial. Subjects were matched into pairs using baseline vertebral vTBMD standard deviation scores. Children within the pairs were randomly allocated to either intervention (50% increase in the regular standing duration) or control (no increase in the regular standing duration) groups. Pre- and post-trial vertebral and proximal tibial vTBMD was measured by quantitative computed tomography (QCT).
The median standing duration was 80.5% (9.5-102%) and 140.6% (108.7-152.2%) of the baseline standing duration in the control group and intervention group respectively. The mean vertebral vTBMD in the intervention group showed an increase of 8.16 mg/cm3 representing a 6% mean increase in vertebral vTBMD. No change was observed in the mean proximal tibial vTBMD.
A longer period of standing in non-ambulant children with CP improves vertebral but not proximal tibial vTBMD. Such an intervention might reduce the risk of vertebral fractures but is unlikely to reduce the risk of lower limb fractures in children with CP.
author: Sprigle S.
publication: J Spinal Cord Med.
Tilt and recline variable position seating systems are most commonly used for pressure relief to decrease potential for skin breakdown. This study provides quantitative information on the magnitudes of loading on the seat and back during phases of tilt, recline, and standing. The objective of this study was to show that the amount of force reduction at the seat would differ across these 3 methods within their respective clinical ranges.
Six able-bodied (AB) subjects (2 men, 4 women) with a median age of 25 years, and 10 subjects (8 men, 2 women) with spinal cord injury (SCI) with a median age of 35.5 years.
Subjects sat on a power wheelchair with Tekscan pressure mats placed underneath a foam backrest and cushion. Data were collected at 5 positions for each method. Order of position and method tested were randomized. Linear regressions were used to calculate the relationships of normalized seat and backrest forces to seat and backrest angles for each chair configuration.
Normalized seat loads had strong linear relationships with the angles of change in tilt, recline, and standing for both groups. Maximum decreases in seat load occurred at full standing and full recline in the SCI subjects and in full standing in the AB subjects. Loads linearly increased on the back during tilt and recline and linearly decreased during standing for both groups.
Standing and recline offered similar seat load reductions at their respective terminal positions. Standing also reduced loading on the backrest. Recognizing that each method had clinical benefits and drawbacks, the results of this study indicate that tilt, recline, and standing systems should be considered as a means of weight shifting for wheelchair users.