Neuromuscular rehabilitation improves strength and reduces functional impairment following moderate-severe wrist injury

Ms Hayley  O’sullivan1

1Royal Melbourne Hospital , Carlton North , Australia


Studies on wrist rehabilitation indicate the importance of incorporating proprioception, strength and endurance. Failure to address these aspects can reduce the effectiveness of rehabilitation and impact on patient outcomes. Whilst clinical research indicates the benefits of neuromuscular rehabilitation programs, there is little evidence of how to design and implement these programs.

This study outlines an 8-week neuromuscular program to enhance functional outcomes for patients following a moderate-severe wrist injury.



There is evidence to suggest that neuromuscular rehabilitation can enhance patient outcomes following moderate-severe wrist injuries. However, there is a lack of information on either the structure and effectiveness of such program



  • Patients who met the inclusion criteria were recruited  to the study
  • Patients attended one 45 minute wrist rehab group on a weekly basis for 8 weeks.
  • Individualised programs were developed according to the patient’s presentation and progress
  • 6-7 exercises were completed each session and upgraded as progress was achieved
  • Pre and post measures were taken:

o             Jamar push off test

o             Grip/ lateral pinch strength

o             Active range of motion

o             Visual analogue scale

o             Patient rated wrist evaluation



Twenty patients were recruited to the study over a 12 month period. Preliminary results indicate improvement in all outcomes measured including PRWE.


Significant findings for Allied Health:

Patients with moderate-severe wrist injuries benefit from an 8 week neuromuscular rehabilitation program. Further research comparing effectiveness of a neuromuscular approach to conventional treatment would further develop the evidence.