R1. Effectiveness of Stretching as Hand Therapy for Sub-Acute Hemiparesis Following Stroke
Derek Kamper, Ph.D
A number of different therapies have been tried for upper extremity rehabilitation following stroke. One commonly prescribed therapy involves stretching of the arm muscles. Research studies employing stretching have noted efficacy in preventing joint contracture and muscle shortening, decreasing spasticity, and improving function. The goals of this project are to identify the mechanistic changes produced by stretching, to examine the efficacy of certain stretching parameters, such as frequency and repetition, and to measure the impact of a stretching/training protocol on hand rehabilitation following stroke. We also will compare stretching results in stroke survivors with chronic impairment to those in the sub-acute phase. Sub-acute subjects will have been discharged from in-patient care less than two months prior to enrollment in this study. Chronic subjects will be at least 1-year post-stroke. To mitigate the effects of potentially confounding factors, such as normal aging and life-style, we will target subjects within a limited age range, specifically 40-60 year-olds, for whom changes in vocational status for themselves and their caregivers would be most relevant.
The Motorized X-Glove used in this study.