Electrical stimulation as a sensorimotor intervention to facilitate recovery in acute CVA survivors with limited upper extremity movement
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Electrical stimulation has been supported as "best practice" treatment for stroke survivors (Duncan et al., 2005). NMES (neuromuscular electrical stimulation) has been found to increase muscle strength and active range of motion in the hand and fingers. However, there has been limited research completed on NMES application for early intervention after a stroke. In this study, five individuals were treated for three to six weeks with the application of NMES or sham NMES within 10 days of their stroke. All the individuals were pre and post tested for grip strength, wrist extension, sensory discrimination, functional use (Fugl Meyer) and level of function (Hand Movement Test). Improvements were noted in sensory discrimination, level of function and functional use. Due to the small number of participants in this study and the wide variability in starting levels it can not be determined whether NMES application at the early stage has an effect on improved motor or sensory recovery.