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A systematic review on extracorporeal shock wave therapy and botulinum toxin for spasticity treatment: a comparison on efficacy
Mihai EE, Popescu MN, Iliescu AN, Berteanu M
European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2022 Aug;58(4):565-574
systematic review

INTRODUCTION: The complexity of spasticity requires a continuous effort in terms of more adapted treatments for patients and accurate management. Through this systematic review, we aimed to evaluate and compare the effectiveness of Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) with Botulinum Toxin Type A (BoNT-A) on reducing spasticity both in children and adults. EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: An electronic search of PubMed/ Medline, Scopus, Ovid Medline, and search engine of Google Scholar was performed. Publications ranging from January 2010 to January 2021, published in the English language and available as full-texts were eligible for inclusion and they were searched without any country restriction. The study was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: A total of five studies were included in the present systematic review. Screening of the references, data extraction, and risk of bias assessment were performed by two independent authors. The methodological quality and risk of bias were conducted using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) scale. The primary outcome was spasticity grade assessed by the Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS) and/or Modified Tardieu Scale (MTS). Additional outcomes were active range of motion (AROM), passive range of motion (PROM), upper extremity Fugl-Meyer Assessment (UE-FMA), pain intensity assessed through Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), spasm frequency scale (SFS), sonographic parameters, between-group comparison, and treatment response rate. CONCLUSIONS: A beneficial effect on spasticity was found for both treatments: evidence showed that ESWT and BoNT-A can ameliorate spasticity considering parameters such as MAS, MTS, AROM, PROM, UE-FMA, VAS and SFS in post-stroke, multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy patients. Further research is required to strengthen the evidence, and more suitable study protocols are highly needed.

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