Influence of 3-month therapy using the neuro-orthopaedic suit Atlant on gait characteristics in preschool children with spastic cerebral palsy
Keywords: cerebral palsy, spasticity, physical therapy, walking
AbstractDifferent kinds of physical therapy are used in medical rehabilitation of neurological patients with motor deficiency: partial body weight-supported treadmill training, driven gait orthosis, neuromuscular electrical stimulation and neuro-orthopaedic suit therapies. Neuro-orthopaedic pneumosuit (NOPS) Atlant (Dynaforce, Russia) creates a muscle framework by dynamic proprioceptive stimulation, stabilizing the trunk and the extremities, reducing pathological synergies and normalizing patient’s motor activity. The aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of 3-month therapy using the NOPS Atlant on gait characteristics in preschool children with spastic form of cerebral palsy (CP). Six CP children with spasticity of lower extremities with (mean±SE) age of 5.2±0.8 years participated in the present study. Children had NOPS Atlant therapy sessions during three months, supervised by an experienced physiotherapist. The kinematic and kinetic characteristics of gait were measured using 3-D movement analysis system Elite Clinic (BTS S.p.A., Italy). After 3-month therapy using the NOPS Atlant, significant increase (7.9%) of the stride length of gait was found as compared with the initial data. Children with spastic CP demonstrated significant improvement of range of motion of hip joint abduction, decrease of knee joint external rotation, as well as positive changes in foot progression angle during gait. In conclusion, motor function re-activation during gait in preschool children with spasticity caused by cerebral palsy was noted after 3-month therapy using the NOPS Atlant. However, future research is needed to elucidate mechanisms of neurodynamic therapy effect on motor ability in children with CP.