Turkish Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2007 , Vol 53 , Num 4

The Effect of Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation on Gait Speed and Distance in Patients with Stroke

Nilgün Mesci 1 ,Ferda Özdemir 2 ,Derya Demirbağ Kabayel 3 ,Burcu Tokuç 4
1 Van Erciş Devlet Hastanesi, Va
2 Trakya Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, Fiziksel Tıp ve Rehabilitasyon Anabilim Dalı, Edirne
3 Derya Demirbağ Kabayel; Trakya Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, Fiziksel Tıp ve Rehabilitasyon Anabilim Dalı, Edirne
4 Trakya Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, Halk Sağlığı Anabilim Dalı, Edirne

Objective: In the present study, the effectiveness of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) on gait speed and distance in lower extremity rehabilitation in patients with stroke was evaluated. 

Materials and Methods: The study included 35 patients who had hemiplegia following stroke. 17 patients were assigned as the treatment group and 18 patients as the control group. All patients received a conventional rehabilitation program for a 4-week period. Patients in the treatment group, in addition to this rehabilitation program, received NMES treatment on hemiplegic foot dorsiflexor muscles. Clinical parameters were evaluated before and after the treatment. The treatment and the control groups were compared to each other and comparison was also done within the groups. 

Results: The pre-treatment and post-treatment evaluations showed a significant increase in the ankle dorsiflexion range of motion (ROM), lower extremity Brunnstrom stage, 20-m walking test, 6-min walking test and Functional Ambulation Categories (FAC) in both treatment and control groups. There was a significant decrease in the level of Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS) in NMES group; however there was no significant difference in the control group. When an intergroup comparison was conducted for the post-treatment clinical evaluation parameters, the ankle dorsiflexion ROM degree, lower extremity Brunnstrom Stage and the level of MAS in NMES group were significantly higher than the control group. There was no significant difference between the two groups for the parameters of 20-m walking test, 6-min walking test and FAC. 

Conclusion: We suggest that NMES application on hemiplegic foot dorsiflexors in addition to conventional rehabilitation program was not superior than rehabilitation program without NMES according to the measures of gait speed and walking distance in stroke patients. 

Keywords : Stroke, neuromuscular electrical stimulation, gait speed, walking distance