Reflex Therapeutics Website

6th European Trauma Congress
16th - 19th May 2004 in Prague

IMF-Therapy® (Intention Controlled Myofeedback)
To improve sensomotoric function in paraplegics

Schmidt, U., Buschmann, A., Jung, J.-Y., IMF Reha GmbH, Gera (Germany)
Prof. Dr. med. P. Wendsche, Unfallklinik Brno (Czech Republic)
Neurological report, provided by Dr. med. Ursula Mehregan, Bensheim, on 9 November 2005:

Summary:

The medical therapy of paraplegics is a great challenge in the rehabilitation of locomotion. Following proof of neuroplasticity via different investigations, it is incontestable that after injury of the sensory afference, the CNS reacts with plastic reorganisation as a result of axon sprouting which can cause reinnervation. This phenomenon has been discovered in the brain as well as in the spinal cord of human beings (Cotman et al., 1981; Deller, Th.1997, 2001). These processes of reinnervation are influenced by IMF®-Therapy to the advantage of sensomotoric function in paraplegic patients.

Intention-controlled myofeedback is an integrated method of mental training, electromyographic derivation and myofeedback. It is based on the scientific knowledge that mental activity corresponds with EMG-potentials in the target muscle and in the paretic muscle of incomplete paraplegics, where, upon intending a powerful movement, the patient activates pathologic patterns.

We can use the EMG signal in the same way as it is used in EMG controlled prosthetics. The derivation and measurement of EMG activity is achieved with the therapeutic device "MFT Z2".

After amplification of the EMG signal, "MFT Z2" triggers muscle stimulation through two channels. Whenever the patient imagines the movement of the body or a limb, his intention triggers the stimulation resulting in reception of proprioceptive feedback from several paretic muscle groups.

19 paraplegic patients ranging from 1 month to 43 years after spinal cord damage performed IMF®-therapy with the aim of achieving better stability in their body. After one month 18 patients had better proprioceptive feedback and one patient had no change. After two months 11 patients (60%) were able to intensify voluntary muscle activity. After three months 3 patients (15%) were able to stand and walk on crutches or with a metal walker – one of them 43 years after spinal cord damage.