Affiliations: [a] Clinical Health & Nutrition Centre (CHANCE), School of Science, Institute of Technology, Ballinode, Sligo, Ireland
RCSI Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Corresponding author: Daniel Simpson, Clinical Health & Nutrition Centre (CHANCE), School of Science, Institute of Technology, Ash Lane, Ballinode, Sligo, Ireland. Tel.: +353 0 870531507; E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: BACKGROUND:A large proportion of patients with chronic stroke have permanent lower limb functional disability leading to reduced levels of independent mobility. Individually, both cross-education of strength and mirror therapy have been shown to improve aspects of lower limb functioning post-stroke. OBJECTIVES:This case report examined whether the novel combination of both therapies could be a feasible intervention leading to improvements in lower limb impairments and functional ability for a post-stroke individual. METHODS:The participant was a 66-year-old male and was six months’ post-stroke. Due to hemiparesis and spasticity he had lower limb motor impairment. The participant engaged in a combination of cross-education strength training plus mirror therapy three days per week for four weeks. Outcome measures included Maximal Voluntary Contraction, Modified Ashworth Scale, 10 Metre Walk Test, Timed Up and Go and London Handicap Scale. Intervention adherence, adverse effects and subjective feedback were also recorded. RESULTS:Maximal Voluntary Contraction increased in both limbs. Improvements were also seen in the Modified Ashworth Scale, 10 Metre Walk Test and Timed Up and Go. Improvements in function were reflected in a positive increase in self-perceived participation scores. The intervention was well received and no adverse effects were noted for the participant. DISCUSSION:The positive outcomes from this new combination therapy for this participant are encouraging and indicate the potential benefit of mirror therapy as an adjunct to cross-education training for improving lower limb strength, spasticity and motor function post-stroke.