All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

C Scott Bickel

Advisory Committee Members

Jennifer Braswell Christy

Matthew Ford

Keith Tansey

Patricia Winchester

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy (DScPT) School of Health Professions


This study investigated a novel robotic assessment of spasticity resulting from a spinal cord injury (SCI). Torque data was analyzed to provide a single measure spasticity score. Three participants with motor incomplete SCI and resultant spasticity were compared to three non-injured participants (NI) using three different angular velocities of passive lower extremity movement in the Lokomat gait orthosis. The mean spasticity scores (NI vs. SCI) at120°/s, 180°/s, and 240°/s were: 0.41 ± 0.30 vs. 3.70 ± 2.07; 0.65 ± 0.49 vs. 4.33 ± 3.57; and 1.55 ± 1.16 vs. 5.26 ± 3.99, respectively. Mean surface electrode electromyography measures (NI vs. SCI) during the passive movement at each velocity were the following: 0.73 ± 0.11 mv/s vs. 5.13 ± 3.12 mv/s; 0.69 ± 0.10 mv/s vs. 4.01 ± 3.18 mv/s; and 0.75 ± 0.13 mv/s vs. 5.08 ± 2.90 mv/s, respectively. A general trend was found of increasing spasticity score with increasing joint angular velocity. These preliminary results show that the torque-derived spasticity score used here may offer an objective, quantitative method for characterizing and tracking spasticity.