Three Case Reports of Successful Vibration Therapy of the Plantar Fascia for Spasticity Due to Cerebral Palsy-Like Syndrome, Fetal-Type Minamata Disease, 2016

Topics: Vibration therapy, spasticity, FDM

Authors: Fusako Usuki and Satsuki Tohyama


Fetal-type Minamata disease is caused by the exposure to high concentrations of methylmercury in the fetal period and shows cerebral palsy-like clinical features. Relief of spasticity is a major task of rehabilitation to improve their activities of daily living. Here we report the effect of long-term vibration therapy on bilateral lower-limb spasticity in 3 patients with fetal-type Minamata disease. We used a simple, inexpensive, and noninvasive approach with hand-held vibration massagers, which were applied to the plantar fascia at 90 Hz for 15 minutes. The effect was observed soon after the first treatment and resulted in better performance of the repetitive facilitation. Vibration therapy for 1 year improved Modified Ashworth Scale for the ankle flexors in 2 cases. The labored gait improved and gait speed increased in another case. Continued vibration therapy for another 1 year further improved Modified Ashworth Scale score and range of motion of ankle dorsiflexion in 1 case. This case showed the decreased amplitude of soleus H-reflex after the 15-minute vibration therapy, suggesting that α-motor neuron excitability was suppressed. Vibration therapy using a hand-held vibration massager may offer safe and effective treatment for lower-limb spasticity in patients with chronic neurological disorders.

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