Effectiveness of Faradic and Russian currents on plantar flexor muscle spasticity, ankle motor recovery, and functional gait in stroke patients.
Spasticity is a major disabling symptom in patients post stroke. Though studies have demonstrated that electrical stimulation (ES) can reduce spasticity and improve passive ankle range of motion (ROM), not many studies have evaluated the effectiveness of ES on active ankle ROM. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of Faradic and Russian currents in the reduction of ankle plantar-flexor spasticity and improving motor recovery in patients post stroke.
Eighty-three patients (29 females and 54 males; mean age of 57.12 years) were randomly assigned to Group 1 (task-oriented exercises), Group 2 (Faradic current for 10 min and task-oriented exercises), and Group 3 (Russian current for 10 min and task-oriented exercises) for a period of 5 sessions per week for 6 weeks. All patients were assessed for soleus and gastrocnemius muscles spasticity measured by modified modified Ashworth scale; active and passive range ROM measured by goniometer; and functional ambulation measured by modified Emory Functional Ambulation Profile at the time of recruitment to study and after 6 weeks.
Both the types of stimulation and exercises were not associated with improvements in modified Emory Functional Ambulation Profile (p > 0.05). The results showed that all the groups are effective in improving passive ankle ROM (p < 0.05) and reducing soleus and gastrocnemius muscles spasticity (p < 0.05). Though all the groups were effective in improving active ankle ROM, no group was found to be superior to another after treatment CONCLUSION: Adding ES to exercises are associated with low to medium effect sizes (<0.5) in reducing spasticity and improving ankle ROM.