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Shock Waves as a Treatment Modality for Spasticity Reduction and Recovery Improvement in Post-Stroke Adults – Current Evidence and Qualitative Systematic Review

Authors Dymarek R, Ptaszkowski K, Ptaszkowska L, Kowal M, Sopel M, Taradaj J, Rosińczuk J

Received 27 June 2019

Accepted for publication 18 October 2019

Published 6 January 2020 Volume 2020:15 Pages 9—28


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Robert Dymarek, 1 Kuba Ptaszkowski, 2 Lucyna Ptaszkowska, 3 Mateusz Kowal, 3 Mirosław Sopel, 1 Jakub Taradaj, 4, 5 Joanna Rosińczuk 1

1Department of Nervous System Diseases, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland; 2Department of Physiotherapy, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland; 3Department of Physiotherapy, Opole Medical School, Opole, Poland; 4Institute of Physiotherapy and Health Sciences, Academy of Physical Education, Katowice, Poland; 5College of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada

Correspondence: Robert Dymarek
Department of Nervous System Diseases, Faculty of Health Sciences, Wroclaw Medical University, Bartla 5, Wroclaw 51-618, Poland
Tel +48 71 784 18 05
Fax +48 71 341 95 33
Email r.dyma[email protected]

Purpose: This systematic review examines intervention studies using extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) application in post-stroke muscle spasticity with particular emphasis on the comparison of two different types of radial (rESWT) and focused shock waves (fESWT).
Methods: PubMed, PEDro, Scopus, and EBSCOhost databases were systematically searched. Studies published between the years 2000 and 2019 in the impact factor journals and available in the English full-text version were eligible for inclusion. All qualified articles were classified in terms of their scientific reliability and methodological quality using the PEDro criteria. The PRISMA guidelines were followed and the registration on the PROSPERO database was done.
Results: A total of 17 articles were reviewed of a total sample of 303 patients (age: 57.87± 10.45 years and duration of stroke: 40.49± 25.63 months) who were treated with ESWT. Recent data confirm both a subjective (spasticity, pain, and functioning) and objective (range of motion, postural control, muscular endurance, muscle tone, and muscle elasticity) improvements for post-stroke spasticity. The mean difference showing clinical improvement was: ∆=34.45% of grade for fESWT and ∆=34.97% for rESWT that gives a slightly better effect of rESWT (∆=0.52%) for spasticity (p< 0.05), and ∆=38.83% of angular degrees for fESWT and ∆=32.26% for rESWT that determines the more beneficial effect of fESWT (∆=6.57%) for range of motion (p< 0.05), and ∆=18.32% for fESWT and ∆=22.27% for rESWT that gives a slightly better effect of rESWT (∆=3.95%) for alpha motor neuron excitability (p< 0.05). The mean PEDro score was 4.70± 2.5 points for fESWT and 5.71± 2.21 points for rESWT, thus an overall quality of evidence grade of moderate (“fair” for fESWT and “good” for rESWT). Three studies in fESWT and four in rESWT obtained Sackett’s grading system’s highest Level 1 of evidence.
Conclusion: The studies affirm the effectiveness of ESWT in reducing muscle spasticity and improving motor recovery after stroke.

Keywords: shock waves, neurorehabilitation, stroke, muscle spasticity, older adults, systematic review

Corrigendum for this paper has been published

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