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Novel treatment (new drug/intervention; established drug/procedure in new situation)
Vibration therapy of the plantar fascia improves spasticity of the lower limbs of a patient with fetal-type Minamata disease in the chronic stage
  1. Fusako Usuki,
  2. Satsuki Tohyama
  1. Department of Clinical Medicine, National Institute for Minamata Disease, Minamata-City, Japan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Fusako Usuki, usuki{at}


The authors present a novel treatment for spasticity using a hand-held vibration massager. A fetal-type Minamata disease patient showing spasticity of lower limbs had direct application of vibratory stimuli to the right plantar fascia and to the left hamstring. After the treatment for 1 year, the Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS) of the lower limbs was improved from three (right > left) to two (right < left). After then, direct application of the same method with the left plantar fascia improved the MAS of the left lower limb to two (right = left). The increased deep tendon reflexes had diminished and markedly positive Babinski’s sign had also decreased to slightly positive on both sides. This method is so simple that patients can treat themselves at home. The authors think that direct application of vibratory stimuli to the plantar fascia is valuable to patients with neurologic disorders, particularly those who cannot receive more invasive treatments.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

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