The Effects of Electrical Stimulation and Exercise Therapy in Patients with Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy
Yıldırım, Sibel A.
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Objective: To evaluate and compare the effects of exercise therapy and electrical stimulation on muscle strength and functional activities in patients with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD). Methods: This controlled clinical trial included 24 subjects who were diagnosed with LGMD by the Neurology Department of the Hacettepe University Hospital, Ankara, Turkey and were referred to the Physical Therapy Department between May 2013 and December 2014. Subjects were enrolled into an electrical stimulation (11 patients) group, or an exercise therapy (13 patients) group. Results: The mean age of patients was 31.62 years in the electrical stimulation group, and 30.14 years in the exercise therapy group. The most important results in this controlled clinical study were that the muscle strength in both groups was significantly decreased and post-treatment evaluation results indicated that muscle strength of the Deltoideus was higher in the electrical stimulation group, and the difference between the groups was maintained in the follow-up period (p<0.05). However, the muscle strength of quadriceps was similar in both groups, according to the post-treatment and follow-up evaluation results (p>0.05). Additionally, the electrical stimulation group presented more obvious overall improvements than the exercise therapy group according to muscle strength, endurance, and timed performance tests. Conclusions: Since no definitive treatments currently exist for patients with LGMD, these results provide important information on the role of exercise therapy and electrical stimulation for clinicians working in rehabilitation.