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Project Summary:

Spasticity is one of the most common symptoms present in humans with spinal cord injury (SCI), however, its clinical assessment remains underdeveloped. The purpose of the study was to examine the contribution of passive muscle stiffness and active spinal reflex mechanisms to clinical outcomes of spasticity after SCI. It is important that passive and active contributions to increased muscle stiffness are distinguished to make appropriate decisions about anti-spastic treatments and to monitor its effectiveness. To address this question, we combined biomechanical and electrophysiological assessments of ankle plantarflexor muscles bilaterally in individuals with and without chronic SCI. We performed slow and fast dorsiflexion stretches of the ankle joint to measure passive muscle stiffness and reflex-induced torque using a dynamometer instrumented with electromyographic and real-time online feedback system.


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