Objectives To evaluate whether a bout of leg cycling in patients with stroke reduces muscle tone and to determine whether neuromuscular functional electrical stimulation (FES) to the affected leg during cycling is more effective than cycling without FES. Design Within-subject comparison. Setting University hospital. Participants Patients with stroke (N=16; age range, 42-72y; <8wk poststroke) with hypertonia in the affected leg. Interventions Subjects' affected leg (1) performed cycling exercise with the assistance of FES (assisted-cycling session) and (2) performed cycling exercise without the assistance of FES (nonassisted-cycling session). Subjects sat in a specially designed wheelchair positioned on a resistance-free roller for each 20-minute session. Main Outcome Measures Changes in muscle tone pre- and posttest session were compared by using the Modified Ashworth Scale and the pendulum test (relaxation index and peak velocity). Results Modified Ashworth Scale scores were significantly lower (P<.05) and relaxation index and peak velocity values were significantly higher (P<.05) after both sessions. Changes in Modified Ashworth Scale scores, relaxation index, and peak velocity values showed a significant (P<.05) difference between the 2 sessions, and assisted cycling reduced hypertonia more than nonassisted cycling. Conclusions The hypertonia of patients with stroke showed a significant decrease immediately after a bout of leg-cycling exercise. FES-assisted leg cycling was better than nonassisted cycling for reducing hypertonia.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation