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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 5-10

Enhancing trunk stability in acute poststroke subjects using physioball exercise and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation technique: A pilot randomized controlled trial


1 Department of Physiotherapy, Global Health City, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Physiotherapy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ravichandran Hariharasudhan
Global Hospitals and Health City, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2350-0298.184681

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Background: Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. Poststroke, most survivors experience trunk control impairment and instability. Previous works on exercise on an unstable surface to improve trunk stability in nonstroke population had proven effective. Thus, physioball exercises (PBEs) in poststroke subjects may be useful in the recovery of trunk stability and thereby reduce disability. We hypothesize that PBE is feasible and effective in enhancing trunk stability. Aims: To test the feasibility and successful implementation of conducting a randomized controlled study to assess the clinical effectiveness of PBE and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) technique to enhance trunk control in poststroke subjects. Methods: This study was conducted in a stroke unit of Global Hospitals and Health City, Chennai, India. Thirty patients with the first onset of stroke within 40 days of stroke duration, lesion to one side, and ability to sit independently with or without arm support for 15 days were recruited. All thirty poststroke subjects were randomized either into PBE group or PNF group, and outcome assessors involved in the trail were blinded to allocation. PBE group performed task-oriented activities on an unstable surface and PNF group were treated with PNF-specific trunk stability exercise program for 4 weeks (30 min/day, 5 times/week). Trunk impairment scale (TIS) was used as a main outcome measure. Results: Data were analyzed using Wilcoxon signed rank sum test and Mann–Whitney U-test for intra- and inter-group comparison. The baseline characteristics between both groups were statistically nonsignificant. Within groups, there were significant improvements between baseline and at 4 weeks in the measure of TIS. In addition, PBE group showed a significant increase in trunk control (mean 2.33, 95% confidence interval 1.14-3.52, P = 0.002) than the PNF subject. Conclusion: This pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) showed the potential efficacy of PBE in developing more trunk stability than PNF in poststroke subjects. The current study had proved the feasibility of undertaking a large-scale RCT. Since this is a pilot study to establish any sort of conclusive evidence on the efficacy of PBEs in the poststroke population, a larger sample-sized trial is needed.


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