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Electromyographic Biofeedback Applications to the Hemiplegic Patient

Changes in Lower Extremity Neuromuscular and Functional Status

Steven L Wolf, Stuart A Binder-Macleod

Abstract

The efficacy of EMG biofeedback in improving neuromuscular and functional measures of involved lower extremities in an Experimental Group of chronic stroke patients (n = 7) was examined. Differences in pretreatment-posttreatment measures of the Experimental Group were compared with those of groups of chronic stroke patients receiving no treatment (n = 6), biofeedback treatment of the involved upper extremity only (n = 16), and general relaxation training (n = 8). All examinations were performed in a blind fashion. The Experimental Group showed significant improvement in active range of motion at the knee and ankle that appeared to result from increases in EMG output to muscles governing these movements. Experimental patients did not improve substantially in walking speed over different terrains but did require significantly fewer or less complex assistive devices to walk. Limitations in the design and implementation of this study are provided, and suggestions for future investigation are offered.

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  • Received February 23, 1983.
  • Accepted April 13, 1983.