Background. The difference in the effects of combined therapy with repetitive facilitative exercise (RFE) and neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) on stroke upper limb paralysis was only reported by a pilot study; it has not been investigated in many patients. Objective. We investigated the effect of combined therapy with RFE and NMES on stroke patients with severe upper paresis. Methods. This study included 99 of the very severe paresis stroke patients with scores of zero or 1a in the Finger-Function test of the Stroke Impairment Assessment Set (SIAS). We randomly divided the patients into four groups, namely, NMES, RFE, RFE under NMES, and conventional training (CT) groups. A total of 20 min of group-specific training in addition to 40 min of conventional exercise per day, seven times a week for 4 weeks after admission, was performed. The upper extremity items of the Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA) were evaluated before and after the training period. Results. The total score gains of the FMA, FMA wrist item, and FMA finger item were significantly larger in the RFE under NMES group than those in the CT group (p<0.05). Conclusion. The combination of voluntary movement and electrical stimulation may promote the activation of paralyzed muscles and improve distal function for very severe paralyzed upper limbs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Occupational Therapy