In a nutshell
This study investigated the effect of segmental muscle vibration (SMV) in the treatment of patients with stroke and arm weakness. Researchers suggested that SMV improves muscle strength in these patients.
Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Around 40% patients with stroke have arm disability. Less than 15% of these patients recover completely. The disability limits the arm movement and the performance of daily tasks, such as eating. This affects the quality of life of the patients and their caregivers.
SMV consists of a vibratory signal that is applied to the muscle using a medical device. This activates the muscle and its function. Prior studies showed that SMV improves muscle activation and movement. However, it is not clear how SMV can affect the recovery of patients with arm weakness after stroke.
Methods & findings
This study included information about 34 patients with stroke and arm weakness. These patients were randomly assigned to receive standard therapy (17) or standard therapy combined with SMV (17). All patients received 3 sessions per week of physical therapy for 8 weeks. The SMV group then received SMV at the end of each physical therapy session.
Patients in both groups improved their muscle strength. However, patients in the SMV had a greater improvement in muscle tone and elbow activity.
The bottom line
This study concluded that standard physical therapy improved muscle outcomes. However, SMV showed a superior effect on muscle and elbow strength.
The fine print
This study included a limited number of participants and a short follow-up period. Further studies are needed.
Published By :
Feb 01, 2019