Electrical stimulation improves gait in children with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy.
Rehabilitation Sciences Department, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, PO Box 10219, Riyadh 11433, Saudi Arabia. firstname.lastname@example.org
Electrical stimulation (ES) of proximal muscles during gait training has not previously been reported as a management option for improving muscle tone and gait in spastic diplegic children.
To investigate the effects of simultaneous continuous ES of both hip abductors and adductors during walking on muscle tone, knee alignment and gait characteristics in children with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy (CP).
Three groups of children participated in this project: the study group, consisting of 17 ambulant children with spastic diplegic CP; a control group of 15 ambulant children with spastic diplegic CP; and another control group, with 17 healthy children.
The study group underwent two different ES management programs. The first was a one-time trial management program that involved ongoing ES of bilateral hip adductor and abductor muscles at the sensory and motor levels, respectively, during walking for a predetermined distance. The second ES program lasted for one week and involved 15 minutes of ongoing ES of bilateral hip adductor and abductor muscles at the sensory and motor levels, respectively, during walking for three sessions a day for the week.
Marked improvement in gait performance (p < 0.001), muscle tone (p < 0.01) and knee position of the study group was observed.
ES to the hip adductor and abductor muscles simultaneously at the sensor and motor levels, respectively, improved gait in spastic diplegic CP children.