Effect of Joint Mobilization on Alpha Motoneuron Reflex Excitability

2014-08-27 03:12:36 | BioPortfolio


Objective: To determine the effect of ankle joint mobilization on the alpha motoneuron reflex excitability of the soleus muscle in people with spasticity.

Subjects and Methods: A controlled clinical trial with crossover design and simple masking was conducted in 24 randomized subjects to initiate the control or experimental group. Traction and rhythmic oscillation were applied for five minutes to the ankle joint. Alpha motoneuron reflex excitability was assessed by measuring H wave amplitude (Hoffmann reflex - H reflex), stimulating the tibial nerve at the level of the popliteal fossa and recording in the soleus muscle. In each subject 12 measurements were taken: basal rate, during and after mobilization. Changes in alpha motoneuron reflex excitability were calculated in relation to basal measurement. For each measurement a hypothesis test was performed (Student t test).

Results: In groups of patients with brain injury (BI) and incomplete spinal cord injury (ISCI), a significant difference was found between measurements of both studies, concerning variation in alpha motoneuron reflex excitability during the application of joint mobilization techniques, with a decrease in the experimental group and an increase in the control group. In contrast, no significant differences were found after mobilization therapy. Patients with complete spinal cord injury (CSCI) showed no significant differences in any measurements.

Conclusion: We demonstrate the effectiveness of passive movement in the decrease of muscle tone during the mobilization maneuver in patients with BI or ISCI, but no residual effect after completion of the trial. This research project showed no evidence regarding spasticity reduction in complete spinal cord injuries. This suggests that therapeutic interventions to decrease muscle tone, based on the passive exercise and stimulation of proprioceptors should be reconsidered.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment


Muscle Spasticity


joint mobilization techniques






Universidad Autónoma de Manizales, Colombia

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:12:36-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A form of muscle hypertonia associated with upper MOTOR NEURON DISEASE. Resistance to passive stretch of a spastic muscle results in minimal initial resistance (a "free interval") followed by an incremental increase in muscle tone. Tone increases in proportion to the velocity of stretch. Spasticity is usually accompanied by HYPERREFLEXIA and variable degrees of MUSCLE WEAKNESS. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p54)

Continuous involuntary sustained muscle contraction which is often a manifestation of BASAL GANGLIA DISEASES. When an affected muscle is passively stretched, the degree of resistance remains constant regardless of the rate at which the muscle is stretched. This feature helps to distinguish rigidity from MUSCLE SPASTICITY. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p73)

A centrally acting muscle relaxant that has been used for the symptomatic treatment of spasticity and muscle spasm. (From Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, p1211)

Skeletal muscle relaxant that acts by interfering with excitation-contraction coupling in the muscle fiber. It is used in spasticity and other neuromuscular abnormalities. Although the mechanism of action is probably not central, dantrolene is usually grouped with the central muscle relaxants.

A heterogeneous group of nonprogressive motor disorders caused by chronic brain injuries that originate in the prenatal period, perinatal period, or first few years of life. The four major subtypes are spastic, athetoid, ataxic, and mixed cerebral palsy, with spastic forms being the most common. The motor disorder may range from difficulties with fine motor control to severe spasticity (see MUSCLE SPASTICITY) in all limbs. Spastic diplegia (Little disease) is the most common subtype, and is characterized by spasticity that is more prominent in the legs than in the arms. Pathologically, this condition may be associated with LEUKOMALACIA, PERIVENTRICULAR. (From Dev Med Child Neurol 1998 Aug;40(8):520-7)

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