Posts Tagged Balance

[Abstract] Effects of sit-to-stand training combined with transcutaneous electrical stimulation on spasticity, muscle strength and balance ability in patients with stroke: a randomized controlled study


  • The effect of sit-to-stand training combined with TENS was evaluated in stroke patients with spastic plantar flexor.
  • TENS followed by sit-to-stand training may improve spasticity, muscle strength and balance.
  • Clinician should consider TENS application prior to sit to stand training for stroke patients with spastic plantar flexor.


Sit-to-stand is a fundamental movement of human being for performing mobility and independent activity. However, Stroke people symptoms experience difficulty in conducting the sit-to-stand due to paralysis and especially ankle spasticity. Recently, transcutaneous electrical- stimulation (TENS) is used to reduce pain but also to manage spasticity.

The purpose of this study was to determine

  1. whether TENS would lead to ankle spasticity reduction and (
  2. whether sit-to-stand training combined with TENS would improve spasticity, muscle strength and balance ability in stroke patients.

Forty-stroke patients were recruited and were randomly divided into two groups: TENS group (n = 20) and sham group (n = 20). All participants underwent 30-sessions of sit-to-stand training (for 15-minutes, five-times per week for 6-weeks). Prior to each training session, 30-minutes of TENS over the peroneal nerve was given in TENS group, whereas sham group received non-electrically stimulated TENS for the same amount of time. Composite-Spasticity-Score was used to assess spasticity level of ankle plantar-flexors. Isometric strength in the extensor of hip, knee and ankle were measured by handhelddynamometer. Postural-sway distance was measured using a force platform.

The spasticity score in the TENS group (2.6 ± 0.8) improved significantly greater than the sham group (0.7 ± 0.8, p < 0.05). The muscle strength of hip extensor in the TENS group (2.7 ± 1.1 kg) was significantly higher than the sham group (1.0 ± 0.8 kg, p < 0.05). Significant improvement in postural-sway was observed in the TENS group compared to the sham group (p < 0.05).

Thus, sit-to-stand training combined with TENS may be used to improve the spasticity, balance function and muscle strength in stroke patients.

Source: Effects of sit-to-stand training combined with transcutaneous electrical stimulation on spasticity, muscle strength and balance ability in patients with stroke: a randomized controlled study – Gait & Posture

, , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

[ARTICLE] Effects of Virtual Reality Exercise Program on Balance, Emotion and Quality of Life in Patients with Cognitive Decline



In this study, we investigated the effectiveness of a 12-week virtual reality exercise program using the Nintendo Wii console (Wii) in improving balance, emotion, and quality of life among patients with cognitive decline.


The study included 30 patients with cognitive decline (12 female, 18 male) who were randomly assigned to an experimental (n=15) and control groups (n=15). All subjects performed a traditional cognitive rehabilitation program and the experimental group performed additional three 40-minute virtual reality based video game (Wii) sessions per week for 12 weeks. The berg balance scale (BBS) was used to assess balance abilities. The short form geriatric depression scale-Korean (GDS-K) and the Korean version of quality of life-Alzheimer’s disease (KQOL-AD) scale were both used to assess life quality in patients. Statistical significance was tested within and between groups before and after treatment, using Wilcoxon signed rank and Mann-Whitney u-tests.


After 36 training sessions, there were significant beneficial effects of the virtual reality game exercise on balance (BBS), GDS-K, and KQOL-AD in the experimental group when compared to the control group. No significant difference was observed within the control group.


These findings demonstrate that a virtual reality-training program could improve the outcomes in terms of balance, depression, and quality of life in patients with cognitive decline. Long-term follow-ups and further studies of more efficient virtual reality training programs are needed.


Dementia is a degenerative disease of the nervous system, which is prevalent in the elderly population. It involves deterioration in cognitive function and ability to perform everyday activities. As the early diagnosis and treatment of dementia is delayed, its economic costs and burden on families and society are gradually increasing and becoming a social problem.1 Older people with dementia have an increased risk of falls and lower levels of everyday activities being performed due to cognitive decline and decreased muscle mass. This is a result of reduced physical activity, which further deteriorates their quality of life.2 Therapeutic interventions to improve cognitive function and to increase activities of daily living (ADL) in patients with dementia are divided into pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments. For pharmacological treatment, acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists are the most widely used in clinical practice.3 However, because pharmacological treatment alone cannot prevent the progression of cognitive decline and ADL deterioration in patients with dementia, various non-pharmacological treatments including cognitive therapy or physical exercise are used as additional treatments.4
Recent reports have stated that regular exercise was effective in delaying cognitive impairment in people with dementia.5 In a three-year follow-up study of healthy older people, a combination of cognitive activity and physical activity was found to be effective in reducing the risk for mild cognitive impairment.6 However, physical activity was found to be more important than cognitive activity in order to further reduce the risk for cognitive decline.6 When older people with dementia performed regular physical exercise, there was an improvement in the mini-mental state examination (MMSE) score.7 Physical exercise prevented the deterioration of ADL.8 The mechanism of the benefit of physical exercise on patients with dementia is thought to be that it can facilitate neuroplasticity, promote injury recovery mechanisms at a molecular level and facilitate self-healing of the brain through its neuroprotective effect.9
However, unless individuals perform exercise in the long run, such beneficial effects of exercise may wear off, leading to impaired brain function and worsened disease.10 Therefore, patients with dementia should continue exercise under the supervision of professional physical therapists in order to stop the progression of cognitive impairment for a long time. In order to achieve this, it is required to keep patients interested in the exercise therapy allowing them to maintain adherence. However, it is difficult to execute exercise treatment continuously in patients with dementia because of space, time, and cost issues in Korea. Patients get easily bored and tired of passive and simply repetitive forms of exercise treatment. In general, 20-50% of older people who start an exercise program will stop within six months.11 Patients with dementia are expected to be more likely to discontinue exercise program due to lowered levels of patience and self-regulation abilities. Therefore, exercise programs utilizing media, including games, attempt to keep patients interested in exercise programs and to improve therapeutic effects. With recent advances in scientific technologies and computer programs, exercise and rehabilitation interventions using virtual reality are being introduced in the medical field.12 Virtual reality refers to a computer-generated environment that allows users to have experiences similar to those in the real world. It is an interactive simulation characterized by technology that provides reality through various feedbacks.13 While performing predetermined tasks such as playing a game in virtual reality, users manipulate objects as if they were real and can control their movements by giving and receiving various feedbacks via numerous senses such as sight and hearing.14
The virtual reality-enhanced exercise consisting of exercise with computer-simulated environments and interactive videogame features allows patients to enjoy performing tasks, encourages competition, and creates motivation and interest in their treatment.15 Participation in a virtual reality-enhanced exercise was reported to lead to higher exercise frequency and intensity and enhanced health outcomes when compared with traditional exercise.16
However, despite these advantages, conventional virtual reality systems could not be widely available for patients in clinical settings due to several limitations including high costs and a large size.17 Therefore, it is necessary to develop virtual reality exercise programs that are easy to follow in hospitals and at home. As an alternative, the use of computer-based individual training programmes is becoming increasingly popular due to the low cost, independence and ease of use in the home. One such system that is increasing in popularity for use in exercise training is the Nintendo Wii (Wii; Nintendo Inc., Kyoto, Japan) personal game, which became commercially available. Wii is a video gaming console with a simple method, as its virtual reality system is implemented via a television monitor. It combine physical exercise with computer-simulated environments and interactive videogame features. Because the Wii console is inexpensive and small in size, it is easy to install or move it in hospitals or at home. This gaming console is designed to be controlled using a wireless controller, allowing user to interact with his/her own avatar, which is displayed on the screen through a movement sensing system. The controller is provided with an acceleration sensor that responds to acceleration changes recognizing direction and velocity changes.18 Wii-balance board is being used when playing a Wii Fit game. It is a force plate collecting movement information in the center of pressure of the standing user, enabling reflection of movements in a virtual environment on the monitor and thus constantly resending visual feedback to the user. Through this process, the user can adjust his/her postural responses. Studies have shown that the Wii balance board can be helpful in postural control training.19 Because Wii is a typical example of virtual reality applications and is simple, inexpensive, and easily accessible, Wii is expected to create interest among patients encouraging them to put more efforts in exercise via games and thus augmenting effects of the treatment.
Domestic studies on the use of Wii have reported its effects on the upper extremity function, visual perception and sense of balance in chronic stroke patients,20 spinal cord injury patients,21 Parkinson’s disease patients,22 and multiple sclerosis patients.23 However, there have been only a few controlled research studies about the effects of Wii on patients with cognitive decline. The present study aimed to analyze effects of virtual reality exercise program on balance function, emotions, and quality of life (QOL) in patients with cognitive decline.

Continue —> Effects of Virtual Reality Exercise Program on Balance, Emotion and Quality of Life in Patients with Cognitive Decline – ScienceCentral



Figure 1 The level of satisfaction about Wii game for dementia patients (Number=%).

, , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

[Abstract] Effect of elastic bandage on postural control in subjects with chronic ankle instability: a randomised clinical trial

Purpose: To report the immediate and prolonged (one week) effects of elastic bandage (EB) on balance control in subjects with chronic ankle instability.
Material and methods: Twenty-eight individuals successfully completed the study protocol, of whom 14 were randomly assigned to the EB group (7 men, 7 women) and 14 were assigned to the non-standardised tape (NST) group (9 men, 5 women). To objectively measure postural sway we used computerised dynamic posturography (CDP) with sensory organisation test (SOT) and unilateral stance (US) test. We analysed the following SOT parameters: the composite SOT score, the composite SOT strategy and the SOT condition 2 and its strategy. In addition, we studied the centre of gravity (COG) sway velocity with open eyes and close eyes during the US test.
Results: Repeated measures ANOVA showed a significant effect for time in composite SOT score (F= 34.98; p= <0.01), composite SOT strategy (F= 12.082; p= 0.02), and COG sway with open eyes (F= 3.382; p= 0.039) in EB group and NST group. Therefore, there were improvements in balance control after bandage applications (defined as better scores in SOT parameters and decreased COG sway in US test). However, no differences between groups were observed in the most relevant parameters.
Conclusions: This study did not observe differences between EB and NST during the follow-up in the majority of measurements. Several outcome measures for SOT and US tests improved in both groups immediately after bandage applications and after one week of use. EB of the ankle joint has no advantage as compared to the non-standardised tape.

Implications for rehabilitation

  • Elastic bandage (EB) of the ankle joint has no advantage as compared to the non-standardised tape.
  • The effects of the bandages could be due to a greater subjective sense of security.
  • It is important to be prudent with the use of bandage, since a greater sense of safety could also bring with it a greater risk of injury.
  • The application of the bandage on subjects with chronic ankle instability (CAI) should be prolonged and used alongside other physiotherapy treatments.

Source: Effect of elastic bandage on postural control in subjects with chronic ankle instability: a randomised clinical trial

, , , ,

Leave a comment

[commentary] Gait and balance training using virtual reality is more effective for improving gait and balance ability after stroke than conventional training without virtual reality.


Virtual reality technology, consisting of computer simulations to artificially generate sensory information in the form of a virtual environment that is interactive and perceived as similar to the real world, is recognised as a novel intervention tool in stroke rehabilitation. This timely systematic review addressed the effectiveness of virtual reality training on gait and balance using commonly assessed clinical outcome measures. The meta-analyses conducted on these outcomes all favoured virtual reality training when the time-dose was matched between balance and gait training, with and without virtual reality. Virtual reality-based rehabilitation should thus be considered to be more than an adjunct to conventional gait training, which is recommended by a recent update on stroke rehabilitation best practice.1

While virtual reality offers the opportunity to create unique and customisable interventions that are unavailable or readily accomplished in the real world, its clinical implementation may be challenging. Diverse virtual reality tools exist; they range from computer games (eg, Wii, Kinect) to high-end, immersive, and costly systems.2 The realism and ecological validity of a virtual environment could enhance training efficiency in virtual reality-based rehabilitation. A useful framework3 to guide clinical decision-making consists of three essential phases: (1) interaction between the user and the virtual environment, taking into account the personal and environmental characteristics; (2) transfer of skills learned from the virtual environment to the real world; and (3) participation in the real world and its affordances as a result of rehabilitation. The transfer of virtual reality-based gait and balance training to actual community ambulation should thus be considered. It should be assessed with mobility outcomes recorded in the community and during negotiation of actual environmental challenges, such as slopes and obstacles. Outcomes of participation, motivation and adherence to training should also be evaluated.
Provenance: Invited. Not peer-reviewed.


    • 3
    • Weiss PL, et al. In: Selzer ME, et al. (eds). Textbook of neural repair and neurorehabilitation. 2016;2:182–197.

Source: Gait and balance training using virtual reality is more effective for improving gait and balance ability after stroke than conventional training without virtual reality [commentary]

, ,

Leave a comment

[WEB SITE] Stroke Recovery Exercises for Your Whole Body – Saebo

Stroke survival rates have improved a lot over the last few years. Stroke was once the third leading cause of death in the United States, but it fell to fourth place in 2008 and fifth place in 2013. Today, strokes claim an average of 129,000 American lives every year. Reducing stroke deaths in America is a great improvement, but we still have a long way to go in improving the lives of stroke survivors.

Stagnant recovery rates and low quality of life for stroke survivors are unfortunately very common. Just 10% of stroke survivors make a full recovery. Only 25% of all survivors recover with minor impairments. Nearly half of all stroke survivors continue to live with serious impairments requiring special care, and 10% of survivors live in nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, and other long-term healthcare facilities. It’s easy to see why stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability in the United States. By 2030, it’s estimated that there could be up to 11 million stroke survivors in the country.

Traditionally, stroke rehabilitation in America leaves much to be desired in terms of recovery and quality of life. There is a serious gap between stroke patients being discharged and transitioning to physical recovery programs. In an effort to improve recovery and quality of life, the American Heart Association has urged the healthcare community to prioritize exercise as an essential part of post-stroke care.

Unfortunately, too few healthcare professionals prescribe exercise as a form of therapy for stroke, despite its many benefits for patients. Many stroke survivors are not given the skills, confidence, knowledge, or tools necessary to follow an exercise program. However, that can change.

With the right recovery programs that prioritize exercise for rehabilitation, stroke survivors can “relearn” crucial motors skills to regain a high quality of life. Thanks to a phenomenon known as neuroplasticity, even permanent brain damage doesn’t make disability inevitable.

A stroke causes loss of physical function because it temporarily or permanently damages the parts of the brain responsible for those functions. The same damage is also responsible for behavioral and cognitive changes, which range from memory and vision problems to severe depression and anger. Each of these changes correspond to a specific region of the brain that was damaged due to stroke.

For example, damage in the left hemisphere of your brain will cause weakness and paralysis on the right side of your body. If a stroke damages or kills brain cells in the right hemisphere, you may struggle to understand facial cues or control your behavior. However, brain damage due to stroke is not necessarily permanent.

For more Visit Site —> Stroke Recovery Exercises for Your Whole Body

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

[WEB SITE] Getting Neuro Patients Back On Their Feet

Published on January 17, 2017

Body weight support devices are available for use over a treadmill or overground. Patients who use these devices are often less fearful and more motivated knowing they are safely supported and not at risk of falling.

By Jessica Finnegan, PT, MPT, NCS

This is an exciting time in the world of neurologic physical therapy. Rehabilitation technologies are emerging and research is ongoing to determine the efficacy of these products. In the current healthcare environment, rehabilitation stays are becoming shorter and physical therapists (PTs) must find a way to prioritize which interventions will be most beneficial to their patients. This article discusses several rehabilitation technologies with the hope of helping PTs integrate them into their plans of care to improve mobility in patients recovering from stroke and other neurological disorders.

Convenience, Safety, and Early Mobility

Intensive, repetitive mobility-task training is recommended for all patients with impaired gait after stroke.1 In the past, mobilizing a patient with dense hemiparesis may have required two to three skilled therapists. This has obvious implications for staff efficiency and productivity. In addition, musculoskeletal injuries are commonly reported by healthcare providers and are often associated with manual patient handling.2 Workplace injuries can be a threat to the health and careers of PTs and should be avoided. Darragh and colleagues explored physical and occupational therapists’ experience with safe-patient-handling (SPH) equipment, such as ceiling lifts, floor lifts, and more. This equipment is becoming more widely available, allowing early mobilization of patients with fewer skilled staff members present and reduced risk of injury to the therapist. In this study, therapeutic uses of SPH equipment included transfer training, functional ambulation, and bed mobility.

Therapists also reported using SPH devices to address impaired attention, visual perception, and neglect. Overall, therapists who used SPH equipment “experienced increased options in therapy, accomplished more, and mobilized patients earlier in their recovery.” They also remarked that they needed to co-treat or solicit help from other professionals less frequently, which should improve productivity overall.3…

Recent technologies have entered the market that enable therapists to evaluate and train visual acuity and cognitive processing as part of rehab programs. These devices can target stroke, TBI, and neurocognitive conditions.

more —> Getting Neuro Patients Back On Their Feet – Physical Therapy Products

, , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

[Abstract] Effects of ankle biofeedback training on strength, balance, and gait in patients with stroke – PEDro

Effects of ankle biofeedback training on strength, balance, and gait in patients with stroke
Kim S-J, Cho H-Y, Kim K-H, Lee S-M
Journal of Physical Therapy Science 2016 Sep;28(9):2596-2600
clinical trial
PURPOSE: This study aimed to investigate the effects of ankle biofeedback training on muscle strength of the ankle joint, balance, and gait in stroke patients. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Twenty-seven subjects who had had a stroke were randomly allocated to either the ankle biofeedback training group (n = 14) or control group (n = 13). Conventional therapy, which adhered to the neurodevelopmental treatment approach, was administered to both groups for 30 minutes. Furthermore, ankle strengthening exercises were performed by the control group and ankle biofeedback training by the experimental group, each for 30 minutes, 5 days a week for 8 weeks. To test muscle strength, balance, and gait, the Biodex isokinetic dynamometer, functional reach test, and 10 m walk test, respectively, were used. RESULTS: After the intervention, both groups showed a significant increase in muscle strength on the affected side and improved balance and gait. Significantly greater improvements were observed in the balance and gait of the ankle biofeedback training group compared with the control group, but not in the strength of the dorsiflexor and plantar flexor muscles of the affected side. CONCLUSION: This study showed that ankle biofeedback training significantly improves muscle strength of the ankle joint, balance, and gait in patients with stroke.

Full text (sometimes free) may be available at these link(s):      help

Source: PEDro – Search Detailed Search Results

, , , , ,

Leave a comment

[Abstract] A Meta-Analysis and Systematic Literature Review of Virtual Reality Rehabilitation Programs


  • Virtual reality rehabilitation (VRR) programs are growing in popularity
  • VRR programs are more effective than traditional rehabilitation programs
  • Excitement, physical fidelity, and cognitive fidelity may cause VRR program success
  • More research is needed to better understand VRR programs


A recent advancement in the study of physical rehabilitation is the application of virtual reality rehabilitation (VRR) programs, in which patients perform practice behaviors while interacting with the computer-simulation of an environment that imitates a physical presence in real or imagined worlds. Despite enthusiasm, much remains unknown about VRR programs. Particularly, two important research questions have been left unanswered: Are VRR programs effective? And, if so, why are VRR programs effective? A meta-analysis is performed in the current article to determine the efficacy of VRR programs, in general, as well as their ability to develop four specific rehabilitation outcomes: motor control, balance, gait, and strength. A systematic literature review is also performed to determine the mechanisms that may cause VRR program success or failure. The results demonstrate that VRR programs are more effective than traditional rehabilitation programs for physical outcome development. Further, three mechanisms have been proposed to cause these improved outcomes: excitement, physical fidelity, and cognitive fidelity; however, empirical research has yet to show that these mechanisms actually prompt better rehabilitation outcomes. The implications of these results and possible avenues for future research and practice are discussed.

Source: A Meta-Analysis and Systematic Literature Review of Virtual Reality Rehabilitation Programs

, , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

[ARTICLE] A systematic review of active video games on rehabilitative outcomes among older patients – Full Text


Although current research supports the use of active video games (AVGs) in rehabilitation, the evidence has yet to be systematically reviewed or synthesized. The current project systematically reviewed literature, summarized findings, and evaluated the effectiveness of AVGs as a therapeutic tool in improving physical, psychological, and cognitive rehabilitative outcomes among older adults with chronic diseases.


Seven databases (Academic Search Complete, Communication & Mass Media Complete, ERIC, PsycINFO, PubMed, SPORTDiscus, and Medline) were searched for studies that evaluated the effectiveness of AVG-based rehabilitation among older patients. The initial search yielded 946 articles; after evaluating against inclusion criteria and removing duplicates, 19 studies of AVG-based rehabilitation remained.


Most studies were quasiexperimental in design, with physical functioning the primary outcome investigated with regard to the use of AVGs in rehabilitation. Overall, 9 studies found significant improvements for all study outcomes, whereas 9 studies were mixed, with significant improvements on several study outcomes but no effects observed on other outcomes after AVG-based treatments. One study failed to find any benefits of AVG-based rehabilitation.


Findings indicate AVGs have potential in rehabilitation for older patients, with several randomized clinical trials reporting positive effects on rehabilitative outcomes. However, existing evidence is insufficient to support the advantages of AVGs over standard therapy. Given the limited number of studies and concerns with study design quality, more research is warranted to make more definitive conclusions regarding the ability of AVGs to improve rehabilitative outcomes in older patients.

Continue —> A systematic review of active video games on rehabilitative outcomes among older patients

, , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

[Abstract] The effects of active video games on patients’ rehabilitative outcomes: A meta-analysis


Findings favored active video games (AVGs) in balance and falls efficacy promotion.
Across all age groups, AVGs were used most often for balance rehabilitation.
AVG-based physical functioning rehabilitation common in middle-aged/older adults
Falls efficacy was the only similar psychological outcome across all ages/studies.
Larger samples/more psychological rehabilitative outcomes needed in future studies.


A meta-analysis on Active Video Games (AVG) as a rehabilitative tool does not appear to be available. This meta-analytic review synthesizes the effectiveness of AVGs on patients’ rehabilitative outcomes. Ninety-eight published studies on AVGs and rehabilitation were obtained in late 2015 with 14 meeting the following inclusion criteria: 1) data-based English articles; 2) randomized-controlled trials investigating AVG’s effect on rehabilitative outcome(s); and 3) ≥ 1 comparison present in each study. Data extraction for comparisons was completed for three age categories: 1) youth/young adults (5–25 years-old); 2) middle-aged adults (40–65 years-old); and 3) older adults (≥ 65 years-old). Comprehensive Meta-Analysis software calculated effect size (ES; Hedge’s g). Comparison group protocols often employed another non-AVG experimental treatment. Control group protocols implemented standard care. AVGs demonstrated a large positive effect on balance control over control among youth/young adults (ES = 0.81, p < 0.01). Further, AVGs resulted in small positive effects on middle-aged adults’ balance control over control (ES = 0.143, p = 0.48) and comparison (ES = 0.14, p = 0.53), with similar results in older adults compared to control (ES = 0.16, p = 0.27). Notably, AVG’s effect on balance control versus comparison among older adults was small yet negative (ES = − 0.12, p = 0.63). AVGs were also used to enhance general physical functioning (GPF) among middle-aged and older adults. Versus control and comparison, AVGs had no effect on middle-aged adults’ GPF (ES = − 0.054 and − 0.046, respectively) or older adults’ GPF (ES = 0.04 and 0.002, respectively). Finally, AVGs had a moderate effect on older adults’ falls efficacy versus control (ES = 0.61, p < 0.05). Findings favor AVGs for youth/young adult balance control rehabilitation and falls efficacy promotion in older adults.

Source: The effects of active video games on patients’ rehabilitative outcomes: A meta-analysis

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: