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Rehabilitation effect of core muscle training combined with functional electrical stimulation on lower limb motor and balance functions.

BACKGROUND: Studies have shown that core muscle training can accelerate the recovery of motor function in stroke patients. However, there are no relevant reports to show the effect of core muscle training combined with functional electrical stimulation (FES) on the rehabilitation of stroke patients.

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to observe the efficacy of core muscle training combined with FES on motor and balance functions of lower limbs in stroke patients.

METHODS: This study selected and divided 120 stroke patients with hemiplegia admitted to our hospital into the control and observation groups. Patients in the control group just received core muscle training; while patients in the observation group were treated by core muscle training combined with FES. Both groups were treated for 8 weeks. Subsequently, the clinical data and information of all patients were collected and counted. Muscle strength changes were observed by detecting paralytic dorsiflexor (pDF), plantar flexor (pPF), knee extensor (pKE), and knee flexor (pKF) before and after treatment. Motor and balance abilities of both groups were scored through the 10-meter walking test (10 MWT), Berg balance scale (BBS), functional ambulation category (FAC) scale, timed up and go (TUG) test, and lower extremity motricity index (MI-Lower).

RESULTS: No significant difference was found in clinical data between the two groups. The intensity of pDF, pPF, pKE, and pKF significantly increased in both groups after treatment, and the intensity of these parameters was higher in the observation group relative to the control group. Additionally, 10 MWT and TUG test scores of patients in the observation group were notably decreased while the BBS and MI-Lower scores were significantly increased after treatment compared with those in the control group.

CONCLUSION: Core muscle training combined with FES can significantly improve the rehabilitation effect of lower limb motor and balance functions in stroke patients.

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