Modulatory effects of locomotor training on extensor spasticity in individuals with motor-incomplete spinal cord injury

Kathleen J. Manella, Edelle C. Field-Fote

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Sparse data exist about effects of locomotor training on spasticity in individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). We investigated changes in spastic responses in individuals with motor-incomplete SCI (MISCI) associated with locomotor training and examined properties of a biomechanical measure of clonus severity, plantar flexor reflex threshold angle (PF RTA). Methods: In 18 individuals with chronic MISCI, we assessed biomechanical and electrophysiologic measures of extensor spasticity and their relationship with walking speed before and after 12 weeks of body-weight supported locomotor training. Measures included PF RTA, plantar flexor (ankle clonus) and quadriceps spasm duration, soleus H-reflex, and ankle muscle electromyography. PF RTA validity was assessed by measuring PF RTA and clonus duration in 40 individuals with SCI and 10 non-disabled individuals. Results: Locomotor training was associated with decreased PF RTA (p = 0.06), ankle clonus (p = 0.09) and quadriceps spasm (p = 0.05). PF RTA discriminated between non-disabled individuals and individuals with SCI and was moderately correlated with walking speed, soleus H/M ratio, and quadriceps spasm duration. Conclusions: In persons with spastic paresis due to MISCI, locomotor training was associated with decreased spasticity as measured by decreased plantar flexor excitability, ankle clonus, and quadriceps spasm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-646
Number of pages14
JournalRestorative Neurology and Neuroscience
Volume31
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 18 2013

Fingerprint

Spinal Cord Injuries
Reflex
Spasm
Ankle
Muscle Spasticity
H-Reflex
Electromyography
Paresis
Body Weight
Muscles

Keywords

  • Ankle clonus
  • measurement
  • plantar flexor hyperreflexia
  • quadriceps spasm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Modulatory effects of locomotor training on extensor spasticity in individuals with motor-incomplete spinal cord injury. / Manella, Kathleen J.; Field-Fote, Edelle C.

In: Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, Vol. 31, No. 5, 18.09.2013, p. 633-646.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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