Ipsilateral proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation patterns improve overflow and reduce foot drop in patients with demyelinating polyneuropathy

J Exerc Rehabil. 2018 Jun 30;14(3):503-508. doi: 10.12965/jer.1836178.089. eCollection 2018 Jun.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the response of the tibialis anterior muscle (TAm) using surface electromyography in patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT-IA), after ipsilateral proprioceptive neuromuscular patterns (PNF). Thirteen CMT-IA patients (both sexes) were treated twice a week, for 5 weeks, with bilateral PNF pattern, four times per treatment. During the execution of the patterns, we recorded the bilateral activation of the TAm in root mean square (RMS). We used the Student paired t-test for the first and last treatments, P-value set at <0.05. Clinical significance (CS) was obtained by subtracting the values of the first treatment from the last. Chopping pattern to the right side increased RMS for the right (t=-3.52, CS=52%), but not the left TAm (t= -3.35). Flexion-abduction with external rotation pattern to the right (t= -2.46, CS=55%) and left (t=-2.07, CS=53%) significantly increased RMS for TAm on both sides. Extension-adduction with internal rotation pattern to the right (t=-0.25) and left (t=-1.84) did not produce any changes in TAm. Ipsilateral PNF patterns selectively produce TAm overflow in peripheral polyneuropathy patients and can be successfully used as supportive therapy for foot drop.

Keywords: Char-cot-Marrie-Tooth disease; Foot drop; Overflow; Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation.