Physical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics published research on the effects of prolonged standing on the walking patterns of children with cerebral palsy. Six children with spastic cerebral palsy (Gross Motor Function Classification Levels II and III) participated in this study over a period of 9 weeks. The first three weeks the children received physical therapy. The second three weeks the children received physical therapy and prolonged periods of standing, 3x per week. The last three weeks the children received only physical therapy again. Before and after each 3 week phase, gait analysis and spasticity assessment was performed. The results indicated that after the middle three week period with prolonged standing, testing showed a significant difference in improvements noted in the following areas: stride length, gait speed, stride time, stance phase time, double support time, muscle tone, and peak dorsiflexion angle during midstance. These results were not sustained when tested again 3 weeks later. The researchers recommend additional research with larger sample size and to establish specific duration and frequency of the standing program.
Reference: Yasser Salem Venita Lovelace-Chandler Reta J. Zabel Amy Gross McMillan Effects of Prolonged Standing on Gait in Children with Spastic Cerebral Palsy Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics February 2010, Vol. 30, No. 1, Pages 54-65