PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to evaluate activation of accessory respiratory muscles using electromyography during chest expansion upper extremity flexion, abduction, and external rotation exercises with an elastic band in children with cerebral palsy.
METHODS: The subjects were 10 children with cerebral palsy. The inclusion criterion for participation was a Gross Motor Function Classification System level of I to III. The subjects were instructed to perform upper extremity flexion, abduction, and external rotation exercises with inspiration, and extension, adduction, and internal rotation exercises with expiration while seated on a chair without a backrest. PM (Pectoralis major), SCM (sternocleidomastoid), RA (rectus abdominis), and EO (external oblique) muscle activities were measured using electromyography.
RESULTS: All tested muscles showed a statistically significant increase in activity after elastic band exercise. There were significant differences in PM, SCM, RA, and EO results after chest expansion exercise using elastic band. SCM showed the largest increase in activity after use of elastic bands, at 52.37±45.88%, followed by the RA (50.56±79.31), EO (35.42±35.45), and PM (31.72±25.64). The increase in the SCM was greatest, followed by increases in the RA, EO, and PM.
CONCLUSION: These finding suggest that activity of accessory respiratory muscles increases with use of elastic bands during chest expansion exercise in cerebral palsy.