Exercise Science (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Gavin Colquitt


Background: Spasticity is the most common symptom among individuals with Cerebral Palsy (CP). Spasticity is often presented as stiff limbs often resulting in pain. Currently, clinicians are limited in diagnosing spasticity using observational tools. The purpose of this study was compare spasticity at various functional levels using dynamometry. Methods: Participants included nine adolescents (12-19) with CP and nine adolescents (age-matched) without CP. The participants participated in passive stretches delivered by the Biodex System 4 Pro Dynamometer at four different speeds (90, 120, 150, and 180 deg/s), Measurements of the quadriceps will be collected before and during passive knee extension stretches with the isokinetic dynamometer using angular displacement, torque, and angular velocity. Results: This study showed significant differences of resistive torque values (peak and mean) between controls and individuals with high CP. A significant difference of resistive torque values (peak and mean) was also shown between left and right lower extremities. A significant difference between different velocities was not found comparing mean resistive torque values but was found comparing peak resistive torque values at 180°/s to all of the other velocities. Conclusions: Dynamometry is able to detect muscle contractions that resist gravity by detecting the amount of torque present. A higher negative resistive torque value represents little to no muscle contraction present while a lower negative resistive torque value represents high muscle contraction present that was resisting gravity. Future research is needed to examine underlying mechanisms with the joint use of dynamometry and surface Electromyography (sEMG).