# Effects of a Wrist Extension Splint on Muscle Power and Activities of the Forearm Muscles: Comparison of Day Versus Nighttime Wear Instructions

• Yoon, Ji-Yeon (Dept. of Physical Therapy, The Graduate School, Inje University) ;
• An, Duk-Hyun (Dept. of Physical Therapy, College of Biomedical Sciences and Engineering, Inje University) ;
• Yoo, Won-Gyu (Dept. of Physical Therapy, College of Biomedical Sciences and Engineering, Inje University)
The objective of this study was to compare the differences on the activity and power of the wrist flexors and extensors in subjects before the use of a wrist extension splint, after nighttime wearing of the splint, and after daytime wearing of the splint. Ten healthy male and ten healthy female students (mean: $22.4{\pm}1.2$ years old) volunteered to wear custom-made wrist splints either during the night or during the day, The hand force of the wrist flexor and extensor, and grip force were measured by PowerTrack II and Dynatron, respectively. At the same time, the activities of the wrist flexor and extensor were recorded by' surface electromyography. The maximal hand force and motor unit recruitment of the flexor carpi ulnatis (FCU) increased significantly (p<.05) when tile subjects wore the wrist splints during the daytime, but the maximal hand power of the FCU decreased with nighttime use of the splints. The maximal hand power and motor unit recruitment of the extensor carpi radialis (ECR) and the ECR/FCU ratio decreased both during nighttime and daytime use. The decrement of the ECR/FCU ratio was significant (p<.05). Wearing a wrist extension splint during nighttime led to the maintenance of a lengthened position of the wrist flexor, resulting in the wrist flexor becoming weak. Wearing a wrist extension splint during the day induced the wrist flexors to be greater. In healthy people, the imbalance between the wrist flexors and extensors may be caused by the use of a wrist extension splint. This study indicates that therapists have to consider whether a splint will be effective, as well as the wearing time, when prescribing splints to people with problems of the musculoskeletal system.