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The Effect of Electrical Passive Cycling on Spasticity in War Veterans with Spinal Cord Injury

Seyed Mansoor Rayegani, Hadi Shojaee, Leyla Sedighipour, Mohammad Reza Soroush, Mohammad Baghbani and Omm’ol Banin Amirani

Introduction: Muscle atrophy, spasticity, and deformity are among long term complication of spinal cord injury (SCI) veterans. There are numerous studies evaluating effect of functional electrical stimulation on muscle properties of SCI people, but less research has focused on the benefits of passive cycling in the management of spasticity and improving Range of Motion (ROM) of lower limbs in individuals with SCI.

Aims: To evaluate the effect of electrical passive cycling on passive range of movement spasticity and electrodiagnostic parameters in SCI veterans.

Methods: Sixty-four SCI veterans referred to two clinical and research center in Tehran were recruited in this prospective clinical trial. The subjects were divided into two groups according to electrical passive cycling usage: (1) patients who did not use pedal exercise (control group) , (2) patients  used Electrical passive cycling up to optimal level(intervention group). Main outcome measures included hip, knee, and ankle range of motion, spasticity scale, and electrodiagnostic parameters including F-Wave Consistency, F-Wave Amplitude, H/M Ratio, F/M Ratio, H-Reflex Onset Latency, and H-Reflex Amplitude. Data were recorded at the time of receiving and 1 year after pedal exercise usage.

Results: Sixty-four SCI patients including 95.3% male, 4.7% female with mean age 43 years old were included in this study. All patients except one suffered from complete SCI. The involved spinal levels were cervical (17.2%), upper thoracic (34.4%), lower thoracic (45.3%), and lumbar (3.1%). Spasticity scale decreased significantly after passive cycling in group 2. Also, hip, knee, and ankle ROM in group 2 were significantly improved after pedal exercise. There was a significant difference in H max/M max (RT&LT) and F/M ratio after versus before electric passive cycling system in group 2.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that passive rhythmic leg exercise can lead to decrease in spasticity, increase in passive Range of Motion (ROM) of lower limbs and improvement in electrodiagnostic parameters of spasticity in patients with SCI.

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