Functional Outcomes of Strength Training in Spastic Cerebral Palsy


The purpose of this study is to det4rmine the clinical effectiveness of stregnth training in children diagnosed with spastic cerebral palsy.


Participants included children with cerebral palsy between the ages of 6 to 12 years old. All of the participants were patients at a children’s rehabilitation center. Six of the children  were diagnosed with spastic diplegia and were limited in walking and also demonstrated less than 50% of normal muscle strength. The remining participants (5)  had spastic hemiplegia and demonstrated 20% strength in at least two muscles across extremities.

The participants participated in a 6-week strength training program including pre and post strength training evaluation on eight muscles groups in both lower extremities using a hand-held  dynamometer, 3D gait analysis.


The researcher found:

  • That each group identified had a significant strength gains in the muscles targeted.
  • The entire group had higher gait velocity
  • Asymmetry in strength improved in hemiplegia
  • Short-term strength training programs demonstrated positive- functional outcomes.

Damiano, D.L,; Abel, M.F. (1998). Functional Outcomes of Strength Training in Spastic Cerebral Palsy Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 79. 119-25