To investigate the effectiveness of mirror therapy combined with neuromuscular electrical stimulation in promoting motor recovery of the lower limbs and walking ability in patients suffering from foot drop after stroke.Design:
Randomized controlled study.Setting:
Inpatient rehabilitation center of a teaching hospital.Subjects:
Sixty-nine patients with foot drop.Intervention:
Patients were randomly divided into three groups: control, mirror therapy, and mirror therapy + neuromuscular electrical stimulation. All groups received interventions for 0.5 hours/day and five days/week for four weeks.Main measures:
10-Meter walk test, Brunnstrom stage of motor recovery of the lower limbs, Modified Ashworth Scale score of plantar flexor spasticity, and passive ankle joint dorsiflexion range of motion were assessed before and after the four-week period.Results:
After four weeks of intervention, Brunnstrom stage (P = 0.04), 10-meter walk test (P < 0.05), and passive range of motion (P < 0.05) showed obvious improvements between patients in the mirror therapy and control groups. Patients in the mirror therapy + neuromuscular electrical stimulation group showed better results than those in the mirror therapy group in the 10-meter walk test (P < 0.05). There was no significant difference in spasticity between patients in the two intervention groups. However, compared with patients in the control group, patients in the mirror therapy + neuromuscular electrical stimulation group showed a significant decrease in spasticity (P < 0.001).Conclusion:
Therapy combining mirror therapy and neuromuscular electrical stimulation may help improve walking ability and reduce spasticity in stroke patients with foot drop.