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A Journal on Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation after Pathological Events

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (SIMFER), European Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ESPRM), European Union of Medical Specialists - Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Section (UEMS-PRM), Mediterranean Forum of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (MFPRM), Hellenic Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (EEFIAP)
In association with International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM)
Indexed/Abstracted in: CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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Europa Medicophysica 1999 March;35(1):3-9

language: English

Biofeedback and its use in treat­ments for con­trol­ling spas­tic­ity

Llorca R., Rodriguez L. P., Pascual F., Ponce J.

Departamento de Medicina Física y de Rehabilitación y Servicio de Rehabilitación del Hospital Clínico de San Carlos de Madrid, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, España


BACKGROUND: Physical ther­a­py and Rehabilitation pro­grams ­designed for spas­tic ­patients are ­focused on re-edu­cat­ing the way in ­which the dam­aged ­limbs func­tion. It nor­mal­ly ­entails meth­ods involv­ing tech­niques ­where the ­patients ­learn how to ­assume cer­tain posi­tion pat­terns, where­by spe­cif­ic ­body move­ment ther­a­py is ­used as reiforce­ment, ­thus allow­ing for ­these move­ment pat­terns to be ­learned.
METHODS: Twenty-­five hem­i­pleg­ic ­patients ­were stud­ied (20 spas­tic men and 5 spas­tic wom­en; age: X=61.00). Thirteen of the 25 sub­jects ­under ­study under­went phys­i­cal ther­a­py in addi­tion to ­being treat­ed ­with Biofeedback (BFB), the remain­ing 12 sub­jects ­being treat­ed exclu­sive­ly ­with BFB. For the suit­able eval­u­a­tion of ­these stud­ies, two dif­fer­ent ­groups of sub­jects ­were select­ed as con­trol ­groups. One con­trol ­group was com­prised of 25 ­healthy sub­jects (13 men and 12 wom­en; age: X=46.5) all of ­which ­were ­found to be neu­ro­log­i­cal­ly ­healthy. The sec­ond ­group was com­prised of 10 spas­tic ­patients (6 men and 4 wom­en; age: X=62.2). An Electromyographic BFB was ­used, in addi­tion to impe­dance relax­a­tion and tem­per­a­ture, ­plus ­false feed­back anal­y­sis and func­tion­al eval­u­a­tion.
RESULTS: For the 25 sub­jects stud­ied, it can be not­ed ­that the elec­tro­myo­graph­ic fig­ures indi­cate a ­drop fol­low­ing the ses­sion, and ­that the impe­dance and tem­per­a­ture lev­els ­increase. The func­tion­al eval­u­a­tion ­reveals an ­increase in vol­un­tary move­ments fol­low­ing treat­ment and the ­results do not indi­cate any rela­tion­ship ­with the phys­i­cal ther­a­py car­ried out or ­with the ­lapse of ­time dur­ing ­which the dis­ease had ­been pro­gress­ing. The con­trol ­group com­prised of ­healthy sub­jects ­showed the ­same ­results, dif­fer­ing in ­such ­that ­their fig­ures ­fell with­in nor­mal ­bounds. No phys­i­cal ther­a­py was car­ried out, nor any func­tion­al eval­u­a­tion per­formed. The con­trol ­group com­prised of spas­tic ­patients for ­whom a ­false feed­back was ­used ­showed a neg­a­tive ­response and the elec­tro­myo­graph­ic, impe­dance and tem­per­a­ture find­ings hard­ly var­ied.
CONCLUSIONS: In our ­study con­duc­tance ­rose ­when the ­patient ­relaxed. The ­skin’s con­duc­tance is direct­ly relat­ed, in a pos­i­tive ­sense, to the lev­el at ­which the sym­pa­thet­ic ner­vous ­system is func­tion­ing. When relax­a­tion is ­achieved, con­duc­tance decreas­es con­sid­er­ably.

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