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clinical trials, rehabilitation, stroke, thermal stimulation



  1. Chen, Jia-Ching MS, PT
  2. Shaw, Fu-Zen PhD


Poor recovery of arm function after stroke can often have a negative impact on the patient and his/her family. These patients often need assistance from the society and may need to rely on government resources. Numerous therapeutic treatments are currently available for stroke rehabilitation. Traditional rehabilitation strategies (Bobath, Brunnstrom, proprioception neuromuscular facilitation, and motor relearning) have been used for many years. However, few of these interventions have been tested in clinical trials and are thus practiced on an empirical basis. Various evidence-based therapies (electric stimulation, electromyographic biofeedback, constraint-induced movement therapy, robotic aided system, and virtual reality) have been added to classic rehabilitation approaches and seem to improve function. Recently, we demonstrated that a novel intervention, thermal stimulation, facilitated upper-limb functional recovery after acute stroke. In this review, we describe detailed thermal stimulation procedures and outcomes in stroke patients. We found that thermal stimulation in combination with other physiotherapies or chemotherapies was of great benefit to stroke patients. Development of a better rehabilitation paradigm that maximizes rapid recovery of arm function is a priority to help stroke patients and society.