Effects of an Exercise-Oriented Rehabilitation Program on Mechanical Efficiency and Aerobic Capacity in Children with Spastic Cerebral Palsy
Iranian Journal of Child Neurology,
Vol. 2 No. 3 (2008),
20 October 2008
Children suffering from Cerebral Palsy (CP), exhibit movement limitations and physiological abnormalities as compared to normal individuals.
The objective of this study was to assess mechanical efficiency and certain cardiovascular indices before and after an exercise-rehabilitation program in children with dipelegia spastic cerebral palsy (experimental group) in comparison with able-bodied children(controls).
Material and Methods
In this study, 15 spastic cerebral palsy (dipelegic) children participated in an exercise-rehabilitation program, three days a week for three months with an average 144bpm of heart rate. The mechanical efficiency (net, gross), rest and submaximal heart rate and maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) were measured before (pretest) and after (posttest) exercise program on the cycle ergometer according to the Macmaster ergometer protocol. Then control group, of 18 normal children underwent the exercise program and were assessed, following which results of the 2 groups were compared using SPSS for statistical analysis (P<0.05).
Mechanical efficiency (net, gross) increased significantly in CP patients after the exercise-rehabilitation program; reults did not alter significantly for the controls.
Rest and submaximal heart rate in CP patients decreased significantly after exercise program. Maximal oxygen consumption, which remained unchanged in patients following the exercise program, was similar in patients and controls after the program.
Cerebral palsy patients, because of their high muscle tone, severe degree of spasticity, and involuntary movements are physically more incapacitated and need more energy than normal able-bodied individuals. Rehabilitation and aerobic exercise can be effective in improving their cardiovascular fitness and muscle function and increasing their mechanical efficiency.
- spastic cerebral palsy
- maximal oxygen consumption
- heart rate
- mechanical efficiency
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