Effects of TENS and Inhibitive Techniques on Spasticity in Cerebral Palsy: A Single-Subject Study

경피신경자극치료와 경직억제기술이 뇌성마비의 경직에 미치는 효과

  • Kim, Won-Ho (Dept. of Rehabilitation, The Graduate school, Yonsei University)
  • 김원호 (연세대학교 대학원 재활학과 물리치료전공)
  • Published : 1997.05.10


An A-B-A-C single subject research design was used to assess the effectiveness of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation(TENS) and inhibitive techniques on spasticity in a 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy. Stimulation electrodes were placed over the sural nerve of the right leg. The standard method of cutaneous stimulation, TENS with impulse frequency of 100 Hz, was applied. Inhibitive techniques including stretch, antagonist contraction, and weight bearing were used. The tonus of the leg muscle was measured by means of a surface-EMG biofeedback unit. Visual analysis of data indicate that the child showed clinically significant reduction of spasticity in passive ankle movement following 30 minutes of TENS and inhibitive techniques application, respectively. The effect of TENS on spasticity inhibition was similar to that of inhibitive techniques. This result suggests that for this child with cerebral palsy, the application of TENS to the sural nerve may induce short-term post-stimulation inhibitory effects on the spasticity of cerebral palsy. Replication of this study with a more complex single-subject design involving more subjects is recommended to confirm this result.