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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 4648101, 10 pages
Research Article

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Stimulation as Alternative Treatment Modality for Wrist and Fingers Spasticity in Poststroke Patients: A Prospective, Open-Label, Preliminary Clinical Trial

1Department of Nervous System Diseases, Faculty of Health Science, Wrocław Medical University, Bartla 5 Street, 51-618 Wrocław, Poland
2Department of Physiotherapy Basics, Academy School of Physical Education in Katowice, Mikolowska 65 Street, 40-065 Katowice, Poland

Received 5 January 2016; Revised 13 May 2016; Accepted 8 June 2016

Academic Editor: Manel Santafe

Copyright © 2016 Robert Dymarek et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To evaluate the effectiveness of radial shock waves (rESW) for wrist and fingers flexors spasticity in stroke patients. Methods. Twenty patients with upper limb muscle spasticity were enrolled in the study and treated with a single session of rESW. The spasticity level of the radio carpal (RC) and finger (FF) joints was assessed using Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS). The resting bioelectrical activity of the flexor carpi radialis (FCR) and flexor carpi ulnaris (FCU) was examined using surface electromyography (sEMG). Trophic conditions were measured using infrared thermal (IRT) imaging. All measurements were conducted at baseline (), immediately after rESW (), and 1 () and 24 () hours following rESW. Results. Significant reduction in MAS was observed for the RC joint in , as well as for the FF joints in , , and . A significant decrease in sEMG was shown for the FCR muscle in and , as well as for the FCU muscle in and . Also, a significant increase in IRT value was observed in only. Conclusions. A single session of rESW could be an effective alternative treatment for reduction of limb spasticity and could lead to improvement of trophic conditions of the spastic muscles.