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Galileo Research Fact Sheet #165: Can Galileo Therapy improve voluntary muscle activation in children with CP?


This very interesting study was done in cooperation of the group around Prof. Gollhofer (Sport Institute University of Freiburg) and the one around Prof. Schoenau (University Clinic of Cologne, Cologne Concept). It investigated the short-term effects of Galileo Therapy in children with Cerebral Palsy (CP, GMFCS 2-4, age 4-12 years) on reflexes, voluntary muscle activation and voluntary range of motion. The used exercise was very basic (16-25Hz, pos. 1,5-3, 1 min., almost upright standing on fore-feet, 10° knee angle). Outcome parameters where targeting muscle function (also see #GRFS166) like mechanical reflex intensity (sensitivity to external mechanical stimulus), active range of motion and voluntary muscle activation.

The results after only one minute of Galileo application where remarkable: Reduction of the reflex response (-12%) with simultaneous increase of voluntary muscle activation (+17% and +37%) – two well-known effects (also well established in sports science): A lack of voluntary muscle activation will cause an increased muscle tone (in extreme cases resulting in spasticity) and therefore increase cocontraction for a specific movement – this, on the one sides is a simple and effective way to stabilize joints but has the disadvantage that it automatically limits functional outcomes: The higher the cocontraction to stabilize joints the more the functional muscle (e.g. in walking working against gravity) also has to work against the corresponding Antagonist. The higher this proportion the more decrease in functional outcome. In addition, cocontraction will limit the range of motion which can be seen in the results of this study: the decrease of cocontraction and increase of voluntary muscle activation also increased the active range of motion (aROM) by 15%.

This study gives therefore important background for the short-term effects of Galileo and explains why Galileo Therapy can open up a therapeutic window which should be used for more specific Galileo exercises or also for other therapy types.

Kids Therapy - CP, Spasticity Management  

Product groups: Galileo used devices, Galileo® Therapy Systems
Topics: Muscle-Bone Relation, Concept Diagnostics & Therapy, Training & Study Support, Therapy & Prevention with Galileo®