Original Research

The effects of a 12-week program of static upper extremity weight bearing exercises on weight bearing in children with hemiplegic type of cerebral palsy

P. Jayaraman, T. Puckree
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 66, No 2 | a64 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v66i2.64 | © 2010 P. Jayaraman, T. Puckree | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 January 2010 | Published: 06 January 2010

About the author(s)

P. Jayaraman, University of KwaZulu Natal
T. Puckree, University of KwaZulu Natal

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Abstract

The  major  objective  of  this  study  was  to  quantify  the  effects  of a  12-week  program  of  weight  bearing  exercises  on  weight  borne  through  the hand and grip pressures in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy. This study also sought to monitor the change in spasticity immediately following weight-bearing  exercises.  A  quasi-experimental,  one  group  pre-test,  post-test  study  was used. Eleven children with hemiplegic type of cerebral palsy from a special school in KwaZulu Natal participated after fully informed written consent. The intervention consisted of a 12-week program of weight bearing. The Tekscan Grip system was used to quantify weight borne through the hand during extended arm prone and quadruped positions and whilst holding a pencil and a tumbler. The modified Ashworth grading of spasticity was used to monitor spasticity. The data was analysed using the random effects GLS model Wald Chi Square test. Significant increases in contact pressure in extended arms prone (p=0,012) and quadruped (p=0,002) and when holding a pencil (p=0,045) was noted post-test compared to pre-test. Significant increases in contact area of the hand was also noted in prone (p=0,000), quadruped (p=0, 03 at assessment 7) and when holding a pencil (p=0,035).  A significant decrease in spasticity during elbow extension (p=0,004), and wrist flexion (p=0,026) and extension (p=0,004) was noted. An overall significant effect of static weight bearing exercises on weight borne through the hands, grip strength and spasticity justifies the use of static weight-bearing in therapy.

Keywords

cerebral palsy; hemiplegia; hand contact pressure; contact area; static weight-bearing exercises

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