Objective: To investigate the effects of mirror therapy on upper limb motor functions, spasticity, and pain intensity in patients with hemiplegia accompanied by complex regional pain syndrome type 1.
Design: Randomized controlled trial.
Setting: Training and research hospital.
Participants: Adult patients with first-time stroke and simultaneous complex regional pain syndrome type 1 of the upper extremity at the dystrophic stage (N=30).
Interventions: Both groups received a patient-specific conventional stroke rehabilitation program for 4 weeks, 5 d/wk, for 2 to 4 h/d. The mirror therapy group received an additional mirror therapy program for 30 min/d.
Main outcome measures: We evaluated the scores of the Brunnstrom recovery stages of the arm and hand for motor recovery, wrist and hand subsections of the Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA) and motor items of the FIM-motor for functional status, Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS) for spasticity, and visual analog scale (VAS) for pain severity.
Results: After 4 weeks of rehabilitation, both groups had significant improvements in the FIM-motor and VAS scores compared with baseline scores. However, the scores improved more in the mirror therapy group than the control group (P<.001 and P=.03, respectively). Besides, the patients in the mirror therapy arm showed significant improvement in the Brunnstrom recovery stages and FMA scores (P<.05). No significant difference was found for MAS scores.
Conclusions: In patients with stroke and simultaneous complex regional pain syndrome type 1, addition of mirror therapy to a conventional stroke rehabilitation program provides more improvement in motor functions of the upper limb and pain perception than conventional therapy without mirror therapy.
Keywords: Complex regional pain syndromes; Hemiplegia; Pain; Rehabilitation; Therapeutics.
Copyright © 2016 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.