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Physiotherapy Quarterly
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vol. 31
Review paper

Recent trends in applying functional electrical stimulation in the management of spastic paraplegia induced by spinal cord injury: a systematic review

Prathap Suganthirababu
Lavanya Prathap
Kumaresan A.
Jagatheesan Alagesan

Saveetha College of Physiotherapy, Saveetha Institute of Medical and Technical Sciences, Chennai, India
Department of Anatomy, Saveetha Dental College and Hospitals, Saveetha Institute of Medical and Technical Sciences, Chennai, India
Physiother Quart. 2023;31(1):58–64
Online publish date: 2023/03/21
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Functional electrical stimulation is one of the latest emerging trends in the field of electrotherapy in physiotherapy practice. It is nowadays used as an orthotic device for functional activity. The study aimed to determine the effectiveness of functional electrical stimulation in spasticity of lower extremity in spinal cord injury patients.

We conducted a qualitative systematic review using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. The systematic literature search covered articles published in years 2000–2020. The databases considered for the literature search were PubMed, Cochrane, ScienceDirect, and Google Scholar. The Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) applied for the search included "functional electrical stimulation", "lower limb", "rehabilitation", "spasticity", "spinal cord injury". The records were assessed for the risk of bias with the RoB 2 Cochrane tool.

The statistical evidence suggests functional electrical stimulation to be equivalent to other modes of treatment. The overall observation of the within-group results and the feedback from the patients indicate that functional electrical stimulation is superior to all other interventions in improving the functional activities of daily life.

From the evidence collected within the limitations of the present systematic review, it can be concluded that the effectiveness of functional electrical stimulation allows to apply it as an adjunct to the standard treatments available with more priority.


spinal cord injury, paraplegia, lower limb spasticity, functional electrical stimulation

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