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EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL AND REHABILITATION MEDICINE
Rivista di Medicina Fisica e Riabilitativa dopo Eventi Patologici
Official Journal of the , , , ,
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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
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.