Effects of short term water immersion on peripheral reflex excitability in hemiplegic and healthy individuals: A preliminary study
Cronin, N., Valtonen, A. M., Waller, B., Pöyhönen, T., & Avela, J. (2016). Effects of short term water immersion on peripheral reflex excitability in hemiplegic and healthy individuals: A preliminary study. Journal of Musculoskeletal Neuronal Interactions, 16 (1), 58-62. http://www.ismni.org/jmni/pdf/63/V16I1_09CRONIN.pdf
Published inJournal of Musculoskeletal Neuronal Interactions
© the Authors, 2016. This is an open access article published by International Society of Musculoskeletal and Neuronal Interactions.
Background: Reflex excitability is increased in hemiplegic patients compared to healthy controls. One challenge of stroke rehabilitation is to decrease the effects of hyperreflexia, which may be possible with water immersion. Methods/Aims: The present study examined the effects of acute water immersion on electrically-evoked Hmax:Mmax ratios (a measure of reflex excitability) in 7 hyperreflexive hemiplegic patients and 7 age-matched healthy people. Hmax:Mmax ratios were measured from soleus on dry land (L1), immediately after (W1) and 5 minutes after immersion (W5), and again after five minutes on land (L5). Results: Water immersion led to an acute increase in Hmax:Mmax ratio in both groups. However, after returning to dry land, there was a non-significant decrease in the Hmax:Mmax ratio of 8% in the hemiplegic group and 10% in healthy controls compared to pre-immersion values. Interpretation: A short period of water immersion can decrease peripheral reflex excitability after returning to dry land in both healthy controls and post-stroke patients, although longer immersion periods may be required for sustainable effects. Water immersion may offer promise as a low-risk, non-invasive and non-pharmaceutical method of decreasing hyperreflexivity, and could thus support aquatic rehabilitation following stroke. ...
PublisherInternational Society of Musculoskeletal and Neuronal Interactions
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