Author(s): Grangeon M, Revol P, Guillot A, Rode G, Collet C
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Abstract STUDY DESIGN: A case study. OBJECTIVE: The aim was to investigate whether motor imagery (MI) could be successfully incorporated into conventional therapy among individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) to improve upper limb (UL) function. SETTING: The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Unit at the Henry Gabrielle Hospital in Lyon, France. METHODS: The participant was an individual with a complete C6 SCI. MI content was focused on functional UL movements, to improve hand transport to reach out and grasp with tenodesis. The participant was tested before and after 15 MI training sessions (45 min each, three times a week during 5 consecutive weeks). MI ability and program compliance were used as indicators of feasibility. The Minnesota and Box and Blocks tests, as well as movement time and hand trajectory during targeted movements were the dependent variables, evaluating motor performance before and after MI training. RESULTS: The participant's ability to generate MI was checked and compliance with the rehabilitation program was confirmed. The time needed to complete the Minnesota test decreased by 1 min 25 s. The Box and Blocks score was improved by three units after MI program. Decreased movement time and enhanced hand trajectory smoothness were still observed 3 months later, despite a slight decrease in performance. CONCLUSIONS: This study supports the feasibility for introducing MI in conventional therapy. Further studies should confirm the potential role of MI in motor recovery with a larger sample.
This article was published in Spinal Cord
and referenced in Journal of Spine