Investigation of the feasibility of using focal vibratory stimulation with robotic aided therapy for spasticity rehabilitation in spinal cord injury

Jevtic Vojinovic, Tijana (2019) Investigation of the feasibility of using focal vibratory stimulation with robotic aided therapy for spasticity rehabilitation in spinal cord injury. PhD thesis, Middlesex University. [Thesis]

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The occurrence of a traumatic spinal cord injury is in hundreds of thousands of people every year. Survivors are left with loss of many bodily functions, loss of sensation below the point of injury and many more painful and uncomfortable repercussions which interfere with activities of daily living.

Over 70% of people with SCI develop spasticity: abnormally increased muscle tone and connected joint stiffness that interfere with residual volitional control of the limbs. Treatments for spasticity include many pharmacological and non-pharmacological techniques, however many of them have severe sideeffects. Evidence suggest the use of vibratory stimulation to relieve repercussions of
spasticity, despite not agreeing on the most advantageous protocol.

This thesis evaluated effects that focal vibratory stimulation have on the muscle performance. Within two studies, focal muscle vibration is compared against different application conditions such as timing and location. The results suggests that if focal vibrations are applied to the relaxed muscle, the increase in muscle's force is observed. Analysis of the cortical waves indicates minimal cortical involvement in vibratory stimulation modulation. On the other hand, FV applied of the connected tendon/bone imposed to a contraction seems to have a potential to increase muscle's activation. There is evidence that motor cortex is responding to this stimulation to stabilise the muscle in order to perform the contraction.

Within clinical trial, focal muscle vibratory stimulation is employed in total of 6 interventional sessions while a joint's spastic exor and extensor muscles were relaxed. Spasticity appears to be reduced as a consequence of the stimulation. Moreover, engaging the joint into robotic-aided therapy increase volitional control of the wrist, according to the analysis of the active range of motion, joint stiffness and kinematic parameters associated to the movement. The measurement and movement facilitation device used in the clinical trial was designed and developed in accordance to the spasticity and spinal cord injury repercussions consideration.

The studies conducted for this thesis demonstrated feasibility and potential for the use of focal muscle vibratory stimulation to enhance muscle power in healthy muscles but also relieve consequences of spasticity. Vibrations combined with movement robotic-aided therapy have a prospects to enhance motor control.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Design Engineering and Mathematics
B. > Theses
Item ID: 26463
Depositing User: Brigitte Joerg
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2019 10:33
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 19:15

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