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Functional evaluation of Rolfing in cerebral palsy.

Authors
  • Perry, J
  • Jones, M H
  • Thomas, L
Type
Published Article
Journal
Developmental medicine and child neurology
Publication Date
Dec 01, 1981
Volume
23
Issue
6
Pages
717–729
Identifiers
PMID: 7319140
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Rolfing is a technique which involves the use of pressure on areas of the body in which muscle tendons adhere to each other rather than sliding over one another in the normal way. In this study, a series of 10 patients with mild, moderate or severe cerebral palsy underwent Rolfing Treatment, and the results were evaluated. Mildly impaired patients made gains in velocity, stride length and cadence; the moderately impaired group made only minor gains in velocity; and the severely impaired did not improve by any of the criteria used in this study. Muscle strength and electromyography were not altered appreciably in any of the patients. While the effects of treatment on range of motion were highly variable, increased muscle tightness in the hip and knee flexors, hip internal rotators, hip adductors and plantar flexors was noted. These results indicate that Rolfing can lead to improved performance in mildly affected patients because they possess the neurological capacity to make use of increased tissue mobility, and thus avoid contractures. However, the increased muscle tightness which can occur probably outweighs any benefit which moderately or severely impaired patients may derive from the treatment.

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