Radial extracorporeal shock wave therapy (rESWT) in the treatment of spasticity in cerebral palsy: a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial

NeuroRehabilitation. 2011;29(4):413-9. doi: 10.3233/NRE-2011-0720.


Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of radial extracorporeal shock wave therapy (rESWT) in the treatment of spasticity in patients with cerebral palsy.

Methods: Fifteen patients with spastic cerebral palsy, 12 men and 3 women, aged 10-46 years (mean age 31). The 15 patients presented 40 spastic muscles that were divided in three groups using a computerized random-number generator. The first group, received rESWT in spastic muscle. The second group received rESWT in spastic muscle + rESWT in antagonist muscle. The third group received placebo. Range of motion and Ashworth Scale were performed. This study is a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. The patients were treated in 3 sessions at intervals of one week.

Results: There are significant differences between groups treated with rESWT and group placebo. A significant decrease in the Ashworth Scale, an increase in the range of motion, were observed in all patients that were treated with rESWT. Positive results were maintained for at least 2 months after treatment.

Interpretation: The treatment with rESWT is more effective than placebo in decreasing spasticity of patients with CP.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cerebral Palsy / therapy*
  • Child
  • Female
  • High-Energy Shock Waves / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Spasticity / therapy
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology*
  • Treatment Outcome