What is the sensory integration system to develop motor control in a hemiplegic shoulder?

Updated: Feb 08, 2019
  • Author: Robert Gould, DO; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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The sensory integration system, as advocated by Rood and described by Brandstater, involves superficial sensory stimulation and feedback to the affected extremity by means of brushing, stroking, tapping, icing, vibration, sudden or gentle stretching of the muscle, and even electrical stimulation to facilitate muscle activation. [60]

The use of robot-aided sensorimotor stimulation also has been implemented. Volpe and coauthors researched the effects of using a robotic device that interacts with the patient in real-time to enhance motor outcome. [62] The robot was able to guide the powerless limb and provided a sensorimotor experience that responds quickly, just like hand-over-hand therapy. In their randomized blinded study, robot-trained subjects demonstrated improved motor outcome of the shoulder and elbow, as well as improved function.

Theoretically, if motor recovery does in fact depend on motor relearning, then optimal therapies can be tailored for individual patient needs through treatments performed by robotic devices. Overall, Volpe believes that "focused sensorimotor exercise appears to produce better motor outcome." [62]

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